Wisconsin’s men’s basketball team opened its five-game, eight-day Canadian tour with a 95-82 loss against Carleton University in an exhibition Wednesday night.
Sophomore forward Sam Dekker scored a team-high 28 points on 9 of 13 shooting from the field, including 21 second-half points. Guard Traevon Jackson added 19 points, center Frank Kaminsky 14 and forward Duje Dukan 10 points off the bench to round out the Badgers in double figures.
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan used a three-guard starting lineup that consisted of Jackson, Ben Brust and Josh Gasser. Dekker and Kaminsky started in the frontcourt. Gasser, playing his first game since suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee 10 months ago, scored two points on 1 of 2 shooting and played 12 minutes. Ryan told reporters before the Canada trip that Gasser was expected to play 8-12 minutes per game.
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“That was good,” Ryan said following Wednesday’s game. “It’s just that he’s not quite ready yet. That’s 10 or 15 minutes that we gave to a player for his confidence, to get him back on the floor, to get him thinking. He’s nowhere near where we need him to be. But that’s why we have the trainers and the doctors working with him the way they are. I think he’s going to be fine, and I hope by the end of this trip he’ll be feeling a lot better.”
Carleton showed why it has won nine of the last 11 Canadian national championships with its scoring ability. The Ravens used the 24-second shot clock to push the pace and established a 51-36 halftime lead. They shot 53.6 percent from the field and drilled 8 of 18 3-point attempts (44.4 percent). Last season, Carleton led all Ontario University Athletics teams in scoring offense, averaging 91.0 points per game.
Phillip Scrubb, the two-time Canadian player of the year, scored a game-high 30 points with 12 assists for Carleton. The Ravens improved to 3-0 in exhibition games against NCAA teams, which include victories against Towson and TCU.
“I think it’s one of those teams you have to play two or three times in a row, like an NBA playoffs best of seven, and then maybe you’d get a little better,” Ryan said. “Maybe not. I know in the second half we did a better job taking away the threes. But they were so effective at driving and getting angles. I think our guys were just a little too tentative defensively in the second half.
“In the first half it was more of a rookie guarding a guy with the ball and a veteran guarding the screener. We have rules and we broke those rules 20 times in the first half, mostly by the younger guys. But that’s what we’re here for.”
Wisconsin shot 29 of 62 from the field (46.8 percent) and made 10 of 26 3-pointers (38.5 percent). The 3-point distance in the international game is 22 feet, 1.75 inches, compared to 20 feet, 9 inches in college.
Forward Nigel Hayes was the first Wisconsin freshman to check into the game and led all Badgers newcomers in minutes with 13. He finished 0 for 2 from the field and scored no points with three rebounds. Freshman guard Bronson Koenig played seven minutes and was also held scoreless.
“I liked some of the battles that our guys got into — Evan Andersen, Nigel Hayes, Sam Dekker — and a couple other times getting second and third shots,” Ryan said. “They showed something to their teammates that they can physically battle and that’s what we need. We’ve got to have that.”
Carleton and Wisconsin played an extra 10-minute session following the game for younger players on the rosters. Koenig hit a pull-up jumper from the elbow with 4.1 seconds remaining to give the Badgers an 18-17 victory in the extra session.
Wisconsin returns to the court on Thursday to play the University of Ottawa. The Ottawa Gee Gees went 15-5 in 2012-13, finishing in a tie for second place in the East Division of the OUA. Ottawa averaged 83.2 points per game, and returns fourth-year guard Johnny Berhanemeskel (18.9 points per game).
Box score: Wisconsin: B. Brust 2-8 0-0 4; T. Jackson 7-12 3-4 19; S. Dekker 9-13 6-9 28; J. Gasser 1-2 0-1 2; F. Kaminsky 5-10 2-3 14; G. Marshall 1-3 0-0 3; N. Hayes 0-2 0-0 0, J. Hill 0-0 0-0 0; D. Dukan 3-9 3-4 10; B. Koenig 0-0 0-0 0; V. Brown 0-0 0-0 0; E. Anderson 1-1 0-1 2; Z. Showalter 0-2 0-0 0; R. Dearring 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 29-62 14-22 82. 3-point field goals: 10-26 (B. Brust 0-2, T. Jackson 2-4, S. Dekker 4-6, J. Gasser 0-1, F. Kaminsky 2-4, G. Marshall 1-3, D. Dukan 1-4, Z Showalter 0-2). Rebounds: 37 (S. Dekker 7); Assists: 13 (T. Jackson 4); Blocks: 3 (S. Dekker 2); Steals 4 (J. Gasser 2)
Carleton: C. Springer-Williams 3-5 1-2 8; T. Scrubb 3-7 0-0 7; P. Scrubb 12-21 3-3 30; K. Churchill 5-9 2-4 12; T. Hinz 9-19 5-6 25; C. Wood 3-4 0-0 7; J.E. Pierre-Charles 0-1 0-0 0; V. Razo 0-1 0-0 0; G. Boucard 2-2 2-2 6; B. Maracle 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 37-69 13-17 95.3-point-field goals: 8-18 (C. Springer-Williams 1-1, T. Scrubb 1-3, P. Scrubb 3-6, T. Hinz 2-5, C. Wood 1-2, V. Razo 0-1). Rebounds: 34 (T. Hinz 10); Assists: 18 (P. Scrubb 12); Blocks: 3 (T. Hinz 3); Steals: 5 (C. Springer-Williams 2).