College Basketball: Badgers Hold Red and White Scrimmage - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

College Basketball: Badgers Hold Red and White Scrimmage

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 If the turnout of 7,306 fans for the annual Red/White Scrimmage was any indication, Wisconsin faithful appear to be pretty excited for the 2016-17 men’s basketball season.

Led by Ethan Happ and Zak Showalter, Team Red edged out a 48-46 win over Team White at the Kohl Center on Sunday afternoon. Happ tallied a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Showalter finished with 12 points of his own to go along with two assists.

It was Happ’s two free throws with seven seconds remaining that broke a 46-46 tie. Bronson Koenig then missed a runner at the buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime, instead sealing the Red win. 

Koenig and fellow senior Nigel Hayes led the way for Team White. Koenig scored a game-high 16 points, while also recording five assists and three steals. Hayes tallied 11 points and grabbed a pair of rebounds to go along with two assists and a steal.

“It was great to get out here in front of a big crowd and finally play some five on five,” Koenig said. “It was really fun. We haven’t been playing much five on five, we’ve been focusing more on the details. It was nice to get out there and get a feel while playing against each other.”

Koenig, who has talked about his improved athleticism this offseason, made several highlight reel plays including back-to-back triples, a no-look dish for a bucket by Alex Illikainen and a pretty step-back baseline jumper.

“Bronson is definitely quicker, leaner, faster with the ball,” head coach Greg Gard said. “Some of the decision making that we have talked about will get better as we go through and get more accustomed to who’s on the floor together. Physically though, I think the whole team has taken a step in the right direction. Now we just have to put the pieces together.”

Sophomore Andy Van Vliet made his 2016-17 debut for the Badgers and did not disappoint, tallying seven points, eight rebounds, two steals and a block. Illikainen also had an impressive afternoon scoring nine points on 4-for-4 shooting with seven rebounds.

The scrimmage also provided a first look at freshmen D’Mitrik Trice and Aleem Ford for the Cardinal and White. Trice finished with three points and one rebound, while Ford recorded a pair of blocks and one rebound.

“We’re very competitive up and down the lineup,” Gard added. “Guys really played hard and really haven’t cared who’s a senior or who’s a freshman. They’ve done an exceptional job at attacking every day with the goal of getting better. No matter how I mix and match the teams, it’s been very competitive.”

(UW Athletics contributed Information to this article)

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