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(Saturday, December 28th)
Final Score: (4) Wisconsin 80, Prairie View 43
Madison, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Sam Dekker scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the fourth-ranked Wisconsin Badgers to an 80-43 victory over the Prairie View A&M Panthers.
Ben Brust netted 11 points while Frank Kaminsky and Nigel Hayes added 10 apiece for Wisconsin (13-0), which is off to its best start in school history.
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan is pleased to finish non-conference play with a perfect record.
"Yeah, I mean if you break seasons down, which a lot of people do, whether we want to or not, you say non-conference and then conference," said Ryan. "We had our schedule laid out in front of us, there it is, not knowing how good teams are going to be, how healthy teams are going to be, and you play it. And to finish it without a mark on the right-hand side, I'm very proud of them.
"But we also know what happens with the workload now, it gets a lot heavier, a lot tougher because of the way everybody knows each other."
Montrael Scott scored 14 points for the Panthers (2-10), who have now lost five straight.
Wisconsin displayed no signs of rust after a two-week layoff, starting the contest with a 9-2 run. Bronson Koenig hit a 3-pointer 1:16 later to spark a 14-2 burst that gave the Badgers a 23-6 lead.
"They're a great basketball team," said Panthers coach Byron Rimm II. "Two weeks off, playing in the first game of the year, last game of the year, coach Ryan does a great job of getting his team prepared. So I wasn't thinking about them being off a couple of weeks.
"I mean, we were off for a couple of weeks because of finals, but it's no excuse. They're a great basketball team."
The Panthers responded with seven straight points to cut the lead to 10 with 6 1/2 minutes to play in the first half.
The Badgers then ended the period on a 14-5 surge, which gave them a 19-point edge at 37-18 at the break.
The teams traded baskets in the first four-plus minutes of the second half before Hayes knocked down a pair of free throws to begin a 10-3 Wisconsin run to increase the lead to 52-29. Kaminsky later scored six straight points for the Badgers, which sparked a 12-0 tear that made it a 65-31 game with seven minutes left.
Wisconsin cruised to the finish as the teams traded baskets over the last seven minutes.
Wisconsin opens its Big Ten slate Thursday at Northwestern ... The Panthers host Southern next Saturday to open their Southwestern Athletic Conference schedule ... Wisconsin is 10-0 all-time against teams from the SWAC ... The Panthers are 0-4 all-time against Big Ten teams.
12/28 19:36:43 ET
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