Brad Davison scored a game-high 24 points and four steals and Aleem Ford chipped in with 16 points to spark Wisconsin to an 83-63 victory over McNeese State on Wednesday in Madison.
Sha’Markus Kennedy paced the Cowboys with 20 points, five rebounds and three assists, while A.J. Lawson finished with 10 points and three assists.
The Badgers (2-1) overcame a sluggish shooting performance in the first half by forcing turnovers and getting the ball to Davison. The junior guard buried seven of his eight shot attempts, including 3 of 4 on 3-point tries.
Ford, a 6-foot-8 junior forward, nearly matched Davison’s hot streak, connecting on seven of his opening eight shots to finish 7-for-11 from the field.
Ford drilled a 3-pointer and added a layup to pad Wisconsin’s lead to 69-52 with 10:48 left in the game. Brevin Pritzl had 13 points and Nate Reuvers added 10 for the Badgers.
Led by Kennedy scoring seven quick points, McNeese State (1-3) wasn’t bothered by the hostile road environment in the first half. The Cowboys made early baskets to take a 10-2 lead with 15:39 left until halftime. After the Badgers answered with a late first-half spurt to seize a 28-26 lead, Kennedy’s two-handed dunk give the Cowboys a 29-28 edge with two minutes left.
Davison drilled a 3-pointer and added a 15-footer with two seconds left to cap a 9-5 surge to end the half to give the Badgers a 37-34 lead. Davison had 14 points to counter Kennedy’s 18-point first-half explosion.
Wisconsin sorely missed Kobe King on Wednesday. The sophomore guard suffered a left leg injury in Monday’s practice. King, who scored a career-high 18 points in a win over Eastern Illinois last Friday, sat out as a precautionary measure.
The Badgers also played without Micah Potter. The Ohio State transfer is set to have a hearing by the chairperson of the NCAA’s Committee for Legislative Review to determine his eligibility. The NCAA had denied a waiver filed twice by Wisconsin on Potter’s behalf. Currently, Potter is not eligible to play until Dec. 21.
—Field Level Media