Wisconsin (2-0) defeated Yale (0-2) 89-61 at the Kohl Center on Sunday night behind a career high 17 points from Khalil Iverson. It was a rather easy win for Wisconsin against a Yale team who are the favorites to win the Ivy League this season. The Badgers quickly showed their strengths by pounding the ball into All-American Ethan Happ who used his scoring and passing ability to give the Badgers a 21-point lead at the half, and it was smooth sailing from there. Here are the three stars from Sunday’s victory.
#11 Andy Van Vliet (Junior)
13 PTS / 3 REB / 1 AST / 1 BLK
Van Vliet brought it again Sunday night with 13 points his second consecutive double-digit performance in the Badgers’ victory over Yale 89-61. Despite an off-night shooting 3/9 from the floor, Andy found a way to put points on the board going 5/7 from the free throw stripe. Andy was the beneficiary of Yale’s defensive strategy to double Ethan Happ thus causing quick ball rotations from the Badgers which allowed Van Vliet to drive against a shifting defense. Yale switched to a zone defense in the second half allowing Van Vliet to switch from inside to out resulting in good ball movement to get the right matchups. Defensively Andy played well limiting Yale bigs in the paint with his length while adding three rebounds and a block to help in the effort. It is important that Andy grows his confidence by scoring in double figures against some of the easier opponents on their schedule before they play more competitive teams.
#22 Ethan Happ (Junior)
12 PTS / 11 REB / 1 AST / 1 STL / 1 BLK
Ethan Happ brought his lunch pail to the Kohl Center and was the central focus of the Badgers offense. It was a conscious effort for the Badgers to pound the ball into Happ who outsized and outsmarted the opposing Yale bigs. Yale decided to attempt to derail the Badgers offensive fluidity by doubling Happ early when he caught the ball in the post. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, Happ kept his head up and found the open man causing through rotations a wide-open look for the Badgers on many occasions. Happ also dominated with his patience getting body position against smaller Yale defenders to create leverage and finish well with either hand. Ethan Happ also dominated the glass against a small Yale front line finishing with 11 rebounds and his second consecutive double-double to start the season for Wisconsin.
#21 Khalil Iverson (Junior)
17 PTS / 3 AST / 2 REB / 1 BLK
Khalil Iverson had a bounce back performance with a career high 17 points in Sunday’s game against Yale after being held scoreless in the Badgers’ opener against South Carolina State. Iverson scored efficiently in the game against Yale going 8/9 from the field and doing it impressively with aggressive cuts and emphatic slams to get the Badger faithful rowdy on a Sunday night game. Iverson’s athleticism was the factor in many of his points, but I was very impressed by his ability to finish the ball with both hands and his decision making in the half-court finishing with 3 assists. Khalil’s offensive performance gives promise to his growth in becoming a more well-rounded player in Wisconsin’s rotation. When Khalil can have an impactful offensive performance like he had against Yale in complement of his lock down defense, it gives Wisconsin a much-needed dimension trying to replace a player like Zack Showalter who perfected that art in his four years in Madison.
#0 D’Mitrik Trice (Sophomore)
14 PTS / 2 REB / 2 AST / 3 STL
Trice did a fantastic job scoring efficiently against Yale shooting 85% from the floor and going 2/2 from the three-point line.
#34 Brad Davison (Freshman)
8 PTS / 3 REB / 1 AST / 3 STL
Davison led the Badgers in bench minutes against Yale and was stuffing the stat sheet and playing aggressive defense leading the team with 3 steals along with D’Mitrik Trice.