MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Badgers (6-1) sprinted out to an early lead and never looked back in their 85-36 win over the New Hampshire Wildcats (1-6) in front of 16,383 fans at the Kohl Center. New Hampshire’s 36 points was the lowest by a Badger opponent since Jan. 17, 1998 when Wisconsin held Northwestern to just 33 points.
The 49-point margin of victory ranks fourth in school history and is the largest since a 55-point win over Denver on Dec. 14, 1988.
Wisconsin started the game on a 27-4 run, driven by seven points apiece by Freddie Owens and Kirk Penney in that stretch.
UW had four scorers in double digits for the fifth time this season, led by Owens’ 17 points. Penney had 16 and Devin Harris and Alando Tucker chipped in with 15 and 10, respectively.
The Badgers rolled out to a 10-0 start, not allowing the Wildcats to tally their first points until nearly four minutes into the game. Back-to-back three-pointers by Penney and Owens put Bucky up 21-4. A pair of steals by Boo Wade on consecutive UNH possessions led to baskets by Dave Mader and Owens to give the UW a 21-point advantage.
An alley-oop by Tucker from Harris elevated the Badgers to a 29-9 lead and a few minutes later, a Penney three-pointer and a Tucker one-handed jam made it 40-11. The Badgers were not charged with a foul until 4:55 remaining in the first half and tied a season-low by committing only nine in the game.
Wisconsin took a hefty 49-16 lead into the locker room and kept pouring it on in the second half. The Badgers led by as much as 53 late in the second and rotated all 14 players into the game.
Mader came off the bench and played 14 solid minutes, highlighted by eight points and three blocked shots. Clayton Hanson tied a career-high with five points and Ike Ukawuba hit both of his shots for a career-high four points.
The Badger defense was equally as impressive as the offense as Wisconsin forced a season-high 25 turnovers, including 16 steals. The 16 steals are the second-most in team history, tying the 16 steals against Denver in 1988. Wade made a career-high and season team-high five steals in the game, four of which coming in the first half.
Wisconsin took advantage of the UNH turnovers, scoring 38 points off takeaways. The Badgers also dominated the paint, outscoring the Wildcats 44-16 and 20-0 on fast break points. The UW held New Hampshire to less than 32 percent from the field while shooting a season-high 54 percent (34-63).