MADISON, Wis. — Jordan Taylor scored 17 points to lead No. 13 Wisconsin to a 79-45 victory against Mississippi Valley State on Friday in the Badgers’ final game before Big Ten play begins.
Playing for the first time in more than a week, the Badgers (11-2) showed no signs of rust, taking a 20-4 lead in the game’s first eight minutes.
The Delta Devils (1-10) were able to cut the lead to 11 points twice in the first half and showed signs they might make it a game. But foul trouble and Wisconsin’s free throw shooting eventually wore them down.
|TOP 25 SCORES|
|No. 4 Louisville 70, Western Kentucky 60|
|No. 6 Baylor 83, West Virginia 81|
|No. 13 Wisconsin 79, Mississippi Valley State 45|
|Wagner 59, No. 15 Pittsburgh 54|
|No. 21 UNLV 85, California 68|
Mississippi Valley State was called for 29 fouls, with one player fouling out and three ending the game with four fouls.
Part of that came from the physical mismatches the Delta Devils faced. The rest was more of an effort by the Badgers to get to the line the last couple of weeks.
Over the first seven games, the Badgers were more of a perimeter team, averaging more than 24 three-point attempts per game and just nine free throw attempts. But Wisconsin had shown more balance over the previous five games coming into Friday, taking almost 17 3s and attempting more than 19 free throws.
On Friday, the Badgers took that trend to the other extreme. They were 4-of-10 on 3s and 31-of-44 from the free throw line. Their season high for attempts coming in was 21.
Paul Crosby and Terrence Joyner both scored 14 points for the Delta Devils.
Jared Berggren scored 15 points and Josh Gasser added 11 for Wisconsin.
The Badgers start Big Ten play next Tuesday at Nebraska.
This was the Delta Devil’s 11th of 12 consecutive games away from home to start the season. They play at Iowa State on Dec. 31 before finally playing their home opener on Jan. 3.