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Wisconsin Rolls Past the Blazers 72-43 in Opening Round of Battle 4 Atlantis


PARADISE ISLAND, THE BAHAMAS  – Top – 25 teams lost to unranked opponents in each of the first two games at Battle 4 Atlantis. The Wisconsin Badgers made sure the third time would be no charm.
Second-ranked Wisconsin built a 10-point lead less than 10 minutes into the game and maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way in defeating UAB 72-43.
Wisconsin senior forward Frank Kaminsky said the Badgers were well aware of the two upsets that had taken place during the afternoon session of the opening round.
“You always take note when you see the quote-unquote underdog win a game,” said Kaminsky, who had 16 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. “But any team in this tournament can beat anyone. So we take no one for granted. We prepare the same way for everybody we play.
“Our team understands that this is a business trip. As fun as Atlantis is with all the water slides and stuff, we know how to take care of business in these situations. We’re here to play basketball. Everyone was just focused on what we needed to do to win.”
The game was close for about five minutes, before the Badgers (5-0) went on a 14-2 run to take a 22-8 lead. That was followed moments later by a 13-2 Wisconsin run that made the score 35-13.
Other than Robert Brown, the Blazers (2-3) were unable to get anything going offensively in the first half. Brown had 11 of UAB’s first 13 points, and it took a successful half-court heave at the buzzer by Nick Norton for the Blazers to be within 20 of Wisconsin at halftime (37-17).
UAB briefly closed the gap to 43-28 early in the second half, but the Badgers responded by scoring 13 consecutive points to put the game away. With six minutes left, Wisconsin had double-up the Blazers 60-30.
“We were thoroughly dominated by a very good basketball team,” UAB coach Jerod Haase said. “Both mentally and physically, we had a lot of breakdowns and (Wisconsin) was very good start to finish.
“Defensively, we weren’t able to execute the things we wanted to do from our scouting report. Offensively, I thought we were very passive.”
The Blazers have six freshmen and four sophomores on their roster. And while Haase said he was “not going to give my guys the crutch of being young,” Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said he thought that was a factor in the lopsided nature of the game. The Badgers forced 19 UAB turnovers and scored 28 points off those mistakes.
“We took advantage of their youth,” Ryan said. “There are some growing pains that Jerod will go through with that team. But he has a nice core there to work with. They’ll get better.”


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