MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft had an “aggressive” conversation with Brevin Pritzl on Saturday to get the senior guard fired up for Sunday’s game against in-state rival Marquette.
Pritzl had 15 points and 13 rebounds off the bench, and each of Wisconsin’s five starters scored in double figures as the Badgers defeated the Golden Eagles 77-61.
“He just got after me at practice a little bit and I kind of just carried on that energy going into the game,” Pritzl said of Krabbenhoft.
Brad Davison also had 15 points for Wisconsin (3-1), which won its 12th straight non-conference home game and 300th game at the Kohl Center, which opened in January 1998.
Marquette’s all-time leading scorer, Markus Howard, entered the day averaging 28 points per game. The senior guard was held to 18 points on 6-of-21 shooting.
“Honestly, it was a team effort,” said D'Mitrik Trice on containing Howard. “We know he’s a great, great scorer. He’s one of the best in college basketball so we knew it was going to take all of us talking and locking in on defense. We knew that was going to lead to offense.”
Trice finished with 10 points and three steals.
Howard scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half for the Golden Eagles (2-1), which suffered its first loss of the season. Koby McEwen scored a game-high 19 points for Marquette, which was seeking back-to-back wins against Big Ten opponents following its come-from-behind victory over Purdue on Wednesday.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed,” Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “We’re a work-in-progress. We have a lot of work to do and that’s obvious — I think now — to everyone after this afternoon.”
Wisconsin outscored the Golden Eagles 24-10 in the paint. Marquette also committed 15 turnovers, most of which were unforced.
Wisconsin held a 34-29 lead at halftime with 11 of its points coming off Marquette’s nine first-half turnovers. Wisconsin came out firing in the second half, hitting eight of their 11 3-pointers in the period to pull away.
“They’re a better shooting team (this season),” Wojciechowski said. “They can shoot from all five positions. With (Nate) Reuvers at the center, that puts you in a very difficult position, because you have — from Trice to Reuvers — all guys who can make 3s so they really space you out.”
The rivalry between the two programs, which dates to 1917, stays in the hands of the Badgers. Wisconsin’s 16-point win marked its largest over the Golden Eagles since Dec. 23, 1998. Of the 216 all-time meetings, Wisconsin now holds a 68-58 all-time advantage.
“It’s great for the game of basketball in the state,” Badgers coach Greg Gard said of the rivalry. “We have another one coming up on Thursday with Green Bay, while Milwaukee in later December. It really helps perpetuate the game and puts a spotlight on the game in our state. ... All the eyes nationally were on here at the Kohl Center.”
Marquette: Hosts Robert Morris on Saturday.
Wisconsin: Host Green Bay on Thursday.
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