MADISON, Wisc. (GoMocs.com)--They're the third-ranked team in the country for a reason. No. 3 Wisconsin beat the Chattanooga Mocs 89-45 today in the Kohl Center. The Badgers improve to 2-0, while the Mocs drop to 1-1.
“They are one of the two or three best teams in the country – if not the best,” coach Will Wade said. “I have a ton of respect for them and their program, but I thought our guys played hard. I thought some individual players had some really nice performances. Ronrico White played well, Casey Jones did some nice things and Tuoyo was a problem down there in the paint for Wisconsin.
“I told the team in the locker room that I feel better about us after this one than I do after Hiwassee,” Wade added. “We played a high-level team and did some good things.”
White came off the bench to lead the Mocs with 15 points. Jones (12) and Tuoyo (11) combined with the senior combo guard to score 38 of the squad's 45 total. Sam Dekker led the Badgers with a game-high 18 points. Nigel Hayes (15 points/13 rebounds) and Frank Kaminsky (15 points/10 boards) added double-doubles.
Wisconsin scored the game's first eight points before Jones reached the free throw line to put the Mocs' first points on the board at 17:19. Jones basket at 16:46 made it 10-4 when Hayes took over. He scored 10 unanswered points to stake the Badgers to a 20-4 margin.
The Badgers kept the pressure on shooting the basketball. They built a 52-21 halftime lead shooting 58.1 percent from the field including 54.5 percent (6-11) from 3pt range. Even though the game got out of reach, Wade saw more than enough positives to take into the next contest.
“I thought our guys were doing the small stuff that's needed to win,” Wade noted. “Even today we were scrapping for loose balls, fighting, our bench was good and we were talking on defense. That stuff wins. That's part of our culture. I was proud of our guys for sticking with our plan and formula.
“Our guys played hard and never gave up taking charges there at the end and diving on the floor.”
The Mocs struggled on the boards. Wisconsin held a 49-21 advantage allowing just three offensive rebounds to the visitors. Chattanooga shot just 32.1 percent for the game, 27.3 percent from beyond the arc.
The hectic start continues Tuesday night for the Mocs. They depart now for Indianapolis, Ind., and a November 18 date with the Butler Bulldogs. Game time is 9 p.m., in legendary Hinkle Fieldhouse. It can be viewed on Fox Sports 2.