Badgers open season with 85-63 win over Coppin State
MADISON, Wis. — Ethan Happ has fans.
Coppin State coach Juan Dixon, for one, has been impressed by the Wisconsin preseason All-American for some time.
Happ recorded the second triple-double in Wisconsin history in the season opener Tuesday night, sparking the Badgers to an 85-63 win over Dixon and the Eagles
An assistant at Maryland, Dixon had the chance to watch Happ early in his career.
“I knew he was going to be a special player,” Dixon said. “He was one of my favorite players in the country back then.
“I knew we would have our hands full (with Happ) this time.”
D’Mtrik Trice scored 21 points and Brevin Pritzl added 16 for Wisconsin.
Happ recorded the second triple-double in program history with 10 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 12 assists.
Happ didn’t score a basket until the 10:48 mark of the first half. Happ faced double teams nearly every time he touched the ball.
Pritzl capped a 20-2 Badgers run with a 3-pointer that gave Wisconsin a 26-13 lead with 9:37 to go in the first half.
Lamar Morgan scored 15 points, including four 3-pointers for the Eagles, who had 14 turnovers. Taqwain Drummond scored 11 points and had five rebounds.
Chad Andrews-Fulton scored six points, but went to the bench for a spell with his third foul with 17:42 remaining in the game.
Happ joins Josh Gasser with a triple double.
“We’ve got a lot of shooters and you could kind of tell that was (Coppin State’s) game plan to just take me away,” Happ said. “It worked out well with having them knock down those shots early.”
Wisconsin shot 41 percent, including 14 of 26 in the first half, and outscored Coppin State 17-7 in bench points.
The Badgers shot 37.5 percent from 3-point range, and were paced by Trice, who scored 5 of 9 baskets from long range.
Coppin State: The Eagles aren’t afraid of hanging out beyond the perimeter to find an open look. They shot 39 percent from the field from 3-point range, and six different players drained a 3.
Wisconsin: Pritzl scored 16 points off the bench, and reserves contributed 30 points overall. Trice, a point guard who played 10 games last season before breaking his right foot, received a medical hardship waiver for the 2018-19 season.
Wisconsin plays Xavier in the Gavitt Tipoff Games in Cincinnati on Nov. 13. The Musketeers upended the Badgers 80-70 in the tournament last season.
Coppin State travels to Dayton on Saturday, for the second game of an eight-game road trip. The Eagles don’t play their first home game until Dec. 3 against Maryland-Baltimore County.