D’Mitrik Trice and the University of Wisconsin basketball team apparently just needed a game under their belt to get used to the Imperial Arena baskets.
Trice finished with a career-high 23 points on 7-of-8 from three point range to send the No. 25 Wisconsin Badgers to the championship game in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament after a 78-58 victory over Oklahoma today.
Kobe King added a career-high 14 points off the bench for the Badgers (5-0). Wisconsin will play either Virginia or Dayton tomorrow at 1:00 pm (CT).
Nate Reuvers, coming off a nine block performance over Stanford yesterday, had 12 points today against the Sooners.
Ethan Happ had an “off day” but still finished with another double-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists.
Oklahoma (4-1), who got 18 points from Christian James, did everything they could to make sure Happ wouldn’t beat them. They shaded an extra defender — sometimes two — when Happ got the ball in the post, which opened the perimeter for the UW shooters.
The Badgers went 1-of-8 from three point range against Stanford yesterday, not getting their only make until the final minute of the game. Trice was 0-for-5 in the game yesterday from beyond the arc.
It was an entirely different story today. The Badgers shot 14 of 22 from three point range, a sizzling 63.6 percent.
Trice made his first seven three point attempts before finally missing. Reuvers and King, meanwhile, made three 3-pointers each.
UW shot 8 of 9 from beyond the arc to break open a close game at halftime.
With Wisconsin leading 31-28 at the break, Okalahoma cut it to 33-31 before the Badgers went on a 7-0 run.
After the Sooners pulled within 40-34, Trice began a stretch where he knocked down three 3-pointers in a span of seven possessions.
Happ didn’t score until there were 44 seconds remaining in the first half. He missed his first five attempts, including one from point blank range late in the half.
Kobe King provided the biggest spark off the bench in the first half, producing eight of UW’s 10 bench points in the opening half.
For those who have continued to count Wisconsin out after a injury plagued 2017-18 season, think Kobe King and Trice would have made a difference last season? Give Ethan Happ shot makers and he will find them. Wisconsin is back. And in a major way.