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No. 17 Wisconsin routs Idaho State for 4th straight win

MADISON, Wis. (AP) Coming off a difficult early season stretch, playing in front of a tepid home crowd and with final exams looming, the conditions were almost in place for No. 17 Wisconsin to suffer a letdown Wednesday night.

Only one thing was missing: a worthy opponent.

Bronson Koenig scored 21 points, Ethan Happ had 12 points and 12 rebounds, and the Badgers rolled past Idaho State 78-44.

Wisconsin (8-2) scored the first 10 points and opened up a 21-3 lead as the Bengals (1-8) could only muster a single 3-pointer in the opening 11 1/2 minutes.

''It kind of took a while there to get going, kind of a little dead,'' Wisconsin guard Zak Showalter said. ''We've just got to create our own energy sometimes. It's games like this where you kind of get tested, and you've just got to be ready to go every game. I think we responded well.''

The Badgers were coming off a stretch of four games that included three against schools that played in last season's Final Four. Wisconsin lost to North Carolina in Maui on Nov. 23, then beat Syracuse on Nov. 29 and Oklahoma on Saturday, both at home.

The Badgers held Bengals leading scorer Ethan Telfair (19.8 ppg) to two points on 1-of-9 shooting, with his only basket coming with 5:57 left in the game.

''I think they know if you can stop him, there's a good chance we're going to have a hard time scoring the ball,'' Bengals coach Bill Evans said. ''I think that's about as good a job as anybody has done on him in two years.''

Balint Mocsan had 10 points to lead Idaho State.

BIG PICTURE

Idaho State: The Bengals had their first winning record last season under Evans in his fourth year at the helm, but with only one victory so far in the non-conference season, that feat will be hard to duplicate. Idaho State never threatened to earn its first victory over a Power 5 conference opponent in 30 years.

Wisconsin: The Badgers held Idaho State to a season low in points, the eighth time in 10 games Wisconsin has done that to an opponent. The Badgers ranked 21st in the nation in scoring defense coming into the game.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

This game likely won't register much with poll voters. The Badgers were expected to dominate an overmatched opponent, and they did. The game Saturday game against Marquette in Milwaukee might carry more weight.

COLD AIR

Wisconsin's Showalter and Vitto Brown each failed to draw rim on 3-point attempts, and Happ and Nigel Hayes both missed everything on a free throw. But Idaho State's Geno Luzcando had the worst luck - the junior guard lost control as he tried to shoot a 3 in front of the Wisconsin bench, and the ball went over his head out of bounds. On his next shot attempt, he launched an airball from almost the same spot.

HE SAID IT

It was one of those days for Evans, the reigning Big Sky Conference coach of the year. He had one question when he entered the interview room and found a sports drink waiting for him at the table. ''First thing is, is this tequila, or is it something else? Because if it's not tequila, I'm not really interested,'' Evans said. ''I don't drink either, and I'm about ready to try it.''

UP NEXT

Idaho State: Hosts Bristol, a third-year California program that plays all its games on the road, to begin a stretch of four games in 11 days.

Wisconsin: Will be tested by two in-state rivals, playing at Marquette on Saturday and hosting Wisconsin-Green Bay on Dec. 14, before a break for final exams.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
Team Stats
Points 0 0
Field Goals 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
3-Pointers 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
Free Throws 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
Total Rebounds 0 0
Offensive 0 0
Defensive 0 0
Team 0 0
Assists 0 0
Steals 0 0
Blocks 0 0
Turnovers 0 0
Fouls 0 0
Technicals 0 0
12T
away team logo Idaho State 162844
home team logo 17 Wisconsin 354378
Team Stats
away team logo Idaho State 9-16 73.8 PPG 35.6 RPG 13.1 APG
home team logo 17 Wisconsin 18-8 69.9 PPG 36.9 RPG 12.9 APG
Key Players
15
B. Boyd 15.0 PPG 2.4 RPG 3.8 APG 41.7 FG%
22
E. Happ 17.9 PPG 10.2 RPG 4.7 APG 54.3 FG%
Top Scorers
PTS REB AST
PTS REB AST
0 FG% 0
0 3PT FG% 0
0 FT% 0
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Bench
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Bench
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB