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84 Days to B1G Basketball: Wisconsin Opens Exhibition Trip With Two Wins

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The Badgers beat the New Zealand Breakers twice this week.

NCAA Basketball: Idaho State at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

It’s exhibition season and while Iowa and Penn State have wrapped up their games, Wisconsin is currently down under on a 12 day trip to New Zealand and Australia.

So far the badgers have played two of their five games, playing the New Zealand Breakers twice this past week and winning both outings.

In Wisconsin’s first game against the Breakers, the Badgers were led by Brevin Pritzl’s 28 points. The forward shot lights out from beyond the arc, hitting 7 of his 9 three pointers as Wisconsin edged New Zealand 85-75. Also reaching double figures was Ethan Happ, who added 17 points and 11 rebounds, while freshman Brad Davison debuted with 13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists.

While trailing early on, the Badgers managed to mount a comeback and then pull away late in the second half. A 12-0 run in the fourth quarter was key to helping Wisconsin finish off the Breakers.

"I thought we learned a lot on the fly," head coach Greg Gard said. “Our turnovers went down every quarter, but also defensively I think we figured some things out. We were much better at communicating, better in transition and then we made some shots late to pull away in the last couple minutes."

In the rematch two days later the outcome wasn’t so close, with Wisconsin running away from the Breakers in decisive fashion. After only winning by 10 in their first outing, the Badgers routed New Zealand 87-53.

In their second game Wisconsin shot absolutely lights out from deep, hitting 15 of their 30 three pointers. In comparison, New Zealand hit only 3 of their 23 three pointers. Leading the Badgers in scoring was Andy Van Vliet, who scored 14 points and hit 4 of his 5 three pointers.

Wisconsin will now head over to Australia for their next three games, with the Hawthorn Magic up next. Tip off against the Magic will take place later tonight.