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UW wins basketball opener

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Aaron Brenner/Special to the Gazette
November 11, 2007
— It’s not obvious from the final score, but the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball had its share of trouble in a season-opening win over Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne here Sunday night.

The Badgers won 83-55 in front of 17,190 at the Kohl Center, but the Mastodons had UW on the ropes early. Although one might argue the Badgers put themselves on the ropes.


IPFW jumped out to a 27-16 lead with eight minutes to go in the first half. The Badgers were turning the ball over with careless passing, which at times got a little too fancy for UW coach Bo Ryan’s style.


Wisconsin also may have been a little too aggressive on defense—unsuccessfully going for steals, which allowed the Mastodons to knock down some easy shots.


“We looked a little shaky at the start of the game,” sophomore Trevon Hughes said. “We needed some momentum.”


Hughes, who is beginning the season as starting point guard, gave the Badgers all the momentum they needed with an offensive frenzy. After a timeout, he scored 12 of the next 14 Wisconsin points, capped by a three-pointer that gave UW its first lead (30-29) since 2-1.


The Badgers never trailed the rest of the way.


“When (I) showed my leadership by example, it helped my team come out with this victory,” Hughes said.


Ultimately, Hughes recovered from a slow start on field goals (1-for-6) to score 25 points on 9-for-17 shooting, complemented by 24 points from forward Brian Butch.


Hughes also paced the UW offense with five assists against just two turnovers, and he added in six rebounds.


“I just played, and it just happened that way,” Hughes said of the offensive outburst. “We’ve got six or seven guys that could (score), and I guess tonight was my and Brian’s night.”


Ryan praised Hughes for having only two turnovers, especially since Hughes was driving through the lane all night. Hughes wasn’t particularly pleased, however, with those two turnovers.


“(Coach) stuck with me, and we pulled this one through,” Hughes said.


It wasn’t just Hughes’ shooting that improved after the timeout at 27-16. The UW defense went to work, slowing down a Mastodon offense that went 10-for-19 in those first 12 minutes.


“They were pushing the ball harder than we were, and we weren’t matching their intensity,” Hughes said. “We just had to pick it up.”


As was the norm this night, the Badgers did just that, and it was Hughes spearheading the charge with a career-high six steals.


“They got him going defensively,” IPFW coach Dane Fife said. “He’s very compact and strong, and it’s tough for guards to get by him.”


UW senior guard Michael Flowers is coming off the bench—at least at this point of the season—and is capable of playing the point. For now, he’s playing shooting guard, and he played 30 minutes in the opener, more than any other Badger beside Hughes.


So Hughes knows what’s he’s up against if he wants to continue running Ryan’s swing offense, especially if he plays 34 minutes per game like he did Sunday night.


“You go back during the offseason, and as hard as he worked, I worked just as hard,” Hughes said. “We’re going to have to do it together (on the court), and that’s what we did, as a team.”


Ryan understands the growing pains of a young guard, especially at the point position. But he spoke highly of Hughes’ control during the exhibition season, which evidently translated into the regular season.


“It’s early, and he’s getting a feel,” Ryan said “But he was a cool customer out there. He did what we needed to do.”


WISCONSIN 83, IPFW 55


Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne (55)—Scott 3-9 3-5 9, Burrows 5-9 2-4 12, Egeric 1-5 0-0 3, J.Johnson 0-5 2-2 2, D.Johnson 2-8 0-0 4, Plackemeier 2-10 0-0 5, Lepper 0-0 0-0 0, Botts 5-6 0-0 14, Perkins 1-3 0-0 3, Luttrell 0-0 3-6 3, Ademi 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-55 10-17 55.


Wisconsin (83)—Landry 3-5 3-4 9, Butch 10-17 4-4 24, Stiemsma 1-4 0-0 2, Hughes 9-17 5-6 25, Krabbenhoft 3-4 2-3 8, Bohannon 1-4 1-2 3, Bronson 0-0 0-0 0, Cain 0-1 0-0 0, Flowers 2-9 0-0 5, Leuer 2-3 1-1 5, Gullikson 0-0 0-0 0, Gavinski 1-1 0-0 2, Nankivil 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 32-65 16-20 83.


IPFW 32 23—55


Wisconsin 38 45—83


Three-point goals—IPFW 7-25 (Botts 4-5, Perkins 1-2, Egeric 1-4, Plackemeier 1-5, D.Johnson 0-1, Burrows 0-1, J.Johnson 0-3, Scott 0-4), Wisconsin 3-12 (Hughes 2-5, Flowers 1-2, Butch 0-1, Krabbenhoft 0-1, Bohannon 0-3). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—IPFW 31 (Burrows 8), Wisconsin 43 (Butch 13). Assists—IPFW 14 (Burrows, D.Johnson 3), Wisconsin 18 (Hughes 5). Total Fouls—IPFW 18, Wisconsin 10.


Attendance—17,190.




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