The question: Could Bo Ryan's team outdo UW football's 83-point effort from the day before?
The answer: Easily.
UW eclipsed 83 with more than five and a half minutes remaining and nearly hit the century mark for the game. By the time it was done, the scoreboard showed UW with 99. Add that to 83, and that's got to be some sort of record for combined points in a weekend.
"We couldn't get shown up by those guys," forward Jon Leuer joked.
Leuer led the way with 24 points, Jordan Taylor added 20 and six assists and freshman Josh Gasser opened his college career with 21 points and nine rebounds as the Badgers started their season with a 99-55 victory.
"It is the first game of the year," head coach Bo Ryan said. "We say the lights are on in exhibition games … but it's a little different, you have to play through some things."
The Badgers put some breathing room between themselves and the Panthers early in the second half with a 25-5 run that spanned 6 minutes, 15 seconds and put the result out of doubt.
Taylor scored nine during the run and Mike Bruesewitz closed out the run with eight points sandwiched around a Taylor layup. Bruesewitz (two), Leuer and Taylor made threes during the spurt.
"I think the sky's the limit for our team, especially when we have guys like that coming out of the woodwork knocking down threes," Taylor said. "I don't think a lot of teams expected Mike to come out and make shots like that, or Josh or Jared (Berggren) even."
Wisconsin out-rebounded Prairie View A&M 6-0 during the crucial stretch as well, and finished with a 51-16 rebounding advantage for the game. Overall, the Badgers grabbed more of their own missed shots (24) than the Panthers (16).
"In that stretch we turned the ball over too much, we didn't rebound," Prairie View head coach Byron Rimm II said. "I really think we got out hustled today."
Things looked good for the Badgers early on, starting with the 11-2 run to open the game. Jon Leuer fueled the hot start, scoring nine points on three three-pointers in the first three minutes.
But Prairie View A&M kept things close thanks to the hot shooting of senior guard Trant Simpson and some uncharacteristically sloppy Wisconsin offense that yielded eight first-half turnovers. Simpson hit three three-pointers in a stretch from 3:28 to 1:59 left in the first half while guarded by Gasser.
Gasser's big night drew raves from his teammates and Ryan. His 21 points was the most in a debut in 15 years, and Taylor joked Gasser might be on his way to being the next Devin Harris. But for as good as Gasser was, those four three-pointers Simpson made on him stood out.
"Defensively, he got me a little bit with those threes," Gasser said.
Wisconsin eventually tightened the screws defensively and limited Prairie View A&M to just 37.5 percent shooting in the second half. While 99 is the big number people will remember, Ryan will probably be happier with .833, the points-per-possession mark his defense held the Panthers to.