Blue devils vs. Badgers basketball

The Blue Devils took on the Badgers at the Kohl Center to open up the 2017-18 season. UW-Madison defeated UW-Stout 85-56.

UW-Stout hung with Wisconsin through much of the first half, trailing only 41-28 at halftime to the NCAA Division I program that advanced to the Sweet 16 last season. But the Badgers prevailed, jumping out to nearly 20 point lead five minutes into the second half and took an 85-56 exhibition game win at the Kohl Center Sunday afternoon.

Sam Ortmann led Stout with 14 points. Isaac Elliott finished with 10 points. Kobe King had 17 points for Wisconsin to lead all scorers.

Stout coach Eddie Andrist was able to use all 20 players and 11 players scored on the Kohl Center court.

The Badgers never trailed, jumping to a 12-3 lead in the opening minutes, then built up an 18-8 lead. Stout pulled to within five points. Stout kept the Badgers’ advantage in single digits until a 3-pointer by Brad Davison at 6:25 and then built to the 13 point advantage by intermission. The lead would grow to 29 points as Wisconsin shot 50.9 percent from the field, including 9-for-24 (37.5 percent) from 3-point range.

Stout shot 21-of-53 from the floor for the game. The Blue Devils hit 7-of-24 3-point attempts, canning 5-of-12 in the first half. John Keefe, who finished with eight points, connected on two 3-pointers. Ortmann and Elliott both hit a pair of treys.

D’Marcco Patrick was perfect from the floor, going 4-of-4, including one 3-pointer, finishing with nine points.

For the Badgers, Davison added 13 points and Andy Van Vliet and Khail Iverson each scored 11 points. Last season third team All-America pick Ethan Happ was limited to two points, hitting two free throws.

“He’s (Happ) obviously a great player, but we felt, like all teams are feeling, that you have to kind of take him out and then see what happens,” said Andrist. “The rest of the guys on this team for the Badgers, they have great size. They’ve got great strength, and they shoot the ball extremely well. I don’t see a lot of weaknesses in them, but they, like us as well, have a lot to work on. If you can take one guy out, then you force them to go to somebody else.”

The bigger Badgers held a 42-24 advantage in rebounds.

“First of all, wow, what a game, in many ways,” Andrist said. “Obviously, we did some good things both offensively and defensively, but what an honor to come in here and play the Badgers. What an honor for Greg Gard and his staff to give us this opportunity and give WIAC (Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) the opportunity, because this is a WIAC thing.

“We did some good things tonight. We had some bad stretches. Coming into a game like this you’re thinking if we can score 40 we’d be good. We obviously out-did that quite a bit. Defensively, I think we’re a tough team to play, because that’s what we want to be. We want to be that team that teams don’t want to play.”

The game was a culmination of an event that actually started earlier in the fall, a Garding Against Cancer event that included a pair of fund raising events in Menomonie on Sept. 7. Badger coach Greg Gard set up his foundation that raised more than $27,000, funds that will stay within the Dunn County community.

During the game, cancer survivors, doctors, researchers and all those committed to finding a cure were recognized.

The Blue Devils will play host to Crown College, Wednesday, Nov. 15.

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Laura covers local/prep sports as well as school-related and general news in Dunn County. She joined The Dunn County News in October 2016. She can be contacted directly at laura.giammattei@lee.net or (715) 279-6721.

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