Senior forward Ethan Happ scored 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, while sophomore guard D’Mitrik Trice added 22 points, as visiting Wisconsin used a scoring burst at the start of the second half to pave the way for a 77-68 nonconference victory over Xavier at Cincinnati.
After Xavier used a run at the end of the first half to pull within 30-28 at the break, Wisconsin went on an 18-4 run in the opening 5:34 of the second half to take control.
The matchup was the opening game of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, which pit Big Ten Conference teams against Big East foes.
Wisconsin (2-0) made 12 of their first 14 shots from the field in the second half and four of their first five 3-point shots.
Sophomore forward Naji Marshall scored 24 points with 13 rebounds for Xavier (2-1), which entered with 10 victories in its last 12 games against Big Ten teams. The loss ended the Musketeers’ 41-game home winning streak against nonconference opponents.
The Badgers looked like they were about to take control early in the game when they took an 11-point lead in the first 12 minutes. But the Musketeers closed the half on a 12-4 run to get back into the game.
Xavier trailed by just two at the half despite going 3 of 14 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes.
Happ, a preseason All-American, was coming off a triple-double in the Badgers’ season-opening victory over Coppin State. It was just the second triple-double in school history.
Happ picked up where he left off in the opener, scoring 12 points in the first half Tuesday, then making his first six shots of the second half.
Sophomore guard Brad Davidson added 19 points for the Badgers. Happ’s 13 rebounds give him 899 at Wisconsin, five shy of Claude Gregory’s school record. Happ is also the seventh leading scorer in school history with 1,581 points.
Junior guard Quentin Goodin scored 13 points and senior forward Zach Hankins added 11 points and 10 rebounds for Xavier, who doesn’t play again until Monday when it faces Auburn at the Maui Invitational.
Wisconsin is now 4-3 all-time against Xavier. The Musketeers won last year at Madison, Wis., but the Badgers won the previous meeting in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
—Field Level Media