MADISON, Wis. (AP) Green Bay coach Linc Darner knew the Phoenix couldn’t guard Wisconsin one-on-one down low, so he had to roll the dice and double the Badgers in the post.
It didn’t work.
Nate Reuvers scored 19 points and Brad Davison added 15, all in the first half, as Wisconsin beat Green Bay 88-70 on Thursday night behind hot shooting from the perimeter.
Wisconsin (4-1) was 15 of 31 from the 3-point line after hitting 48 percent of its 3-point attempts in a win over Marquette on Sunday. In their first three games of the season, the Badgers shot just 28 percent from behind the arc.
“Our whole game plan was to hope they miss,” Darner said.
Green Bay (1-3) looked like it was on the verge of being run out of the gym with less than 2 minutes left in the first half after Davison converted a 4-point play to put the Badgers up 46-26.
But Davison was hurt on the play and came off the court limping. He started the second half before going to the bench just 2 minutes into the period and began riding an exercise bike. After Green Bay used a 13-2 run to close the gap to 12, Davison returned. Aleem Ford quickly knocked down a 3-pointer, and the threat was extinguished.
Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said he has no long-term concerns about Davison’s availability.
“He made me put him back in. That shows you the toughness of that cat. He’s fine,” Gard said.
Amari Davis led Green Bay with 16 points and JayQuan McCloud added 13.
Green Bay: Thursday was part of an all-too-familiar pattern for the Phoenix against the Badgers. Wisconsin is 24-1 against Green Bay, including 21-0 at home.
Wisconsin: The Badgers continue to use a balanced attack offensively. Six players came into the game averaging at least eight points, and six finished in double figures on Thursday. Guard D’Mitrik Trice was impressive across the board with 11 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and just one turnover.
The NCAA has denied a final appeal from Micah Potter to allow the transfer to be immediately eligible rather than waiting until Dec. 21 to suit up for Wisconsin. Ahead of Thursday’s game, Potter learned the NCAA Committee for Legislative Relief rejected his final appeal of a decision, requiring him to sit out until the end of the first semester.
“I’m still confused why I am being punished for behaving in a manner that the NCAA requests of its student athletes,” Potter wrote on Twitter after learning of the committee’s decision. The 6-foot-10 Potter started 16 games over two seasons for the Buckeyes before transferring last season before the season started.
Gard unloaded on the NCAA during his postgame comments. He said the NCAA found there were no mitigating circumstances surrounding Potter’s transfer, even though the Ohio native was told “to distance yourself from the program” before he left the program ahead of games starting. He waited until the semester ended to transfer.
Ultimately, he will sit out 47 games, Gard said, 35 at Ohio State last season and 12 with Wisconsin when counting a preseason game and a scrimmage. He said it amounts to three semesters, which is “unprecedented.”
“You see so many negative things,” Gard said. “Micah Potter is a quintessential student-athlete. He is exactly what the NCAA should want representing them as a student-athlete.”
Green Bay: Hosts Cal State Northridge on Monday.
Wisconsin: Travels to the Barclays Center in New York to play Richmond in the Roman Legends Classic Tournament on Monday.
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