Ottawa, Ont. – (BasketballBuzz) – A night after finding out that Canadians can shoot and play the game they invented the University of Wisconsin Badgers rolled into Montpetit Hall focused and eager to get their first win of their 2013 Canadian Tour.
The Ottawa Gee-Gees coming off a 90-74 victory over the TCU Horned Frogs in their NCAA preseason opener came out gunning from beyond the arc and opened up the game on a 9-2 run and found themselves up 41-36 late in the first-half. But Wisconsin closed out the half on 19-3 run, took a 55-44 advantage in a well played opening 20 minutes and never looked back to defeat the Gee-Gees 101-92 and even their preseason record to 1-1.
For the second straight night 6’7 sophomore forward Sam Dekker led the way for the Badgers with a great all-around game, finishing with a team-high 20 points on 9-of-11 shots. Dekker absolutely destroyed the Gee-Gees on both ends of the floor while picking up eight rebounds, seven assists in the process and leaving Gee-Gees head coaching James Derouin searching for answers.
“Well, I mean they have an NBA caliber guy, in Dekker, he’s a nightmare match-up, you put a big on him he can blow by you, put a small guy he can post up.” “He hits threes and can rebound well.” described Ottawa Gee-Gees Head Coach James Derouin after the game.
“We don’t see a guy like that too often.” concluded the fourth-year head coach.
Badgers Head coach Bo Ryan has seen plenty of talented players during his 13 years at Madison and also believes Dekker has the ceiling to be amongst the top players in the country.
“He’s a very a good player, he’s one of the best players in the country, is one of those guys that wants to get better, hes learning, I mean he is a high level college basketball player.”
Mike L’Africain controlled the Gee-Gees offense early and scored 16 of his game-high 24 points in the first-half. Johnny Berhanemeskel also showed signs of brilliance adding 23 points and five rebounds. Other Ottawa players in double figures were sophomore guard Moe Ismail who came off the bench and finished with 14 points on 4-of-4 shooting from behind the three-point line.
The Badgers shot a scorching 56.5% from the field and 57.7% from the outside – nailing 15-out-26 three-pointers. Ottawa also shot the ball well going 47.8% and burying 13 three-pointers in a single digit losing effort.
Overall the Badgers displayed significant improvement from their preseason opener, they shot the ball well, displayed their front court versatility and looked like a team that could be dangerous once Big Ten conference play roles around.
Starting guard Ben Brust rebounded well from a poor showing against Carleton with 18 points and five triples. Other Badgers players to reach double-figures included George Marshall 15, Duje Dukan 14 and Frank Kaminsky with 12 points and 4 rebounds.
“I think we were more comfortable on the offensive end, if you saw and broke down our game we got in our sets much quicker and got shots, against Carleton we didn’t get as many good shots, we have a lot of good shooters and if we get open looks we are going to knock them down” discussed Dekker after the game.
Wisconsin will now travel to Toronto for game against another Ontario University Association (OUA) East opponent when it visits the Ryerson Rams at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. The Gee-Gees will take on the Syracuse Orange next.
Ottawa Gee-Gee’s point guard Mike L’African injured himself late in the game and is expected to miss the game against the Syracuse Orange.