first_imgLess than 48 hours removed from one of the worst losses in program history, the Wisconsin men’s basketball rebounded with a 92-65 victory over Siena.Although the defense started slow once again, Wisconsin built a healthy first half lead and then put the game away for good by making six of its first seven shots from the field to build a lead that reached a margin as large as 33 points.Junior guard Bronson Koenig, who poured in a career-high 23 points, scored six quick points after halftime to help the cause and secure No. 17 Wisconsin’s first win of the 2015-16 season. Junior forward Vitto Brown also had a career-high in points, with 16.“I did a better job of slowing the game down and letting it come to me,” Brown said.In defeat was a Siena team from the MAAC who, unlike Western Illinois two nights ago, was overpowered. The Badgers shot lights out from the field throughout the game, especially in the second half when they made 68 percent of their shots to finish the game shooting 58.5 percent.For the second straight game, UW started 4-of-6 from the field. Unlike Friday night, though, UW held on to the hot hand. More impressively, they did it without starters Nigel Hayes and Ethan Happ who spent some quality time on the bench because both picked up two early fouls.Despite limited playing time, Hayes managed to score 14 points and Happ finished with eight.The Badgers were committed to going inside early on, with five of their first six field goals coming from a short distance.“[We did a] much better job tonight to start the [game] and to start the half,” UW head coach Bo Ryan said.With all of the action inside, the Badgers frequented the free throw line, where they were much more effective than against Western Illinois. Wisconsin shot 25-for-30 from the charity stripe Sunday night.A straight-on three-pointer from Ryan Oliver gave Siena its first lead of the ballgame at 14-13 with 12:46 to go in the half. Siena made seven of its first 11 shots, but then went cold, only converting four of their final 17 attempts in the half.Koenig said UW emphasized defense during Saturday’s practice after the dismal performance on the defensive end of the floor during Friday’s loss.“You really couldn’t get much worse than Friday,” Koenig said.Leading the way for the Saints were Nico Clareth (21 points) and Marquis Wright (17 points).Vitto Brown had a career-high 16 points Sunday night. Jason Chan/The Badger HeraldWhile the rest of the Badgers were working inside, Brown got his mid-range game going, sinking jumpers to keep UW close. He hit one from the right wing to put Wisconsin up 17-16 nine minutes and 21 seconds into the game, a lead his team wouldn’t relinquish. Ten of his points came in the first half.“He seemed a little more focused,” Ryan said. “He was a little more under control and that’s what he’s going to have to do.”After taking 21 three’s in the opener, Wisconsin didn’t attempt a shot from behind the arc until 9:15 remained in the first half, when Koenig knocked one down from the left side to increase the lead to 23-18 and got the Badgers rolling. The Saints were an inefficient 1-for-8 from three and the deep shot selections stalled the offense.In the middle of the first half, Siena switched to a 2-3 zone to offset Wisconsin’s inside attack, but UW utilized patience and cerebral passing to adjust. It pulled ahead and carried a 43-28 lead into halftime behind shooting 50 percent from the field and 13 points from Koenig.The half came to an exciting end when Koenig failed to hit a last-second three and Zak Showalter flew through the air, met the ball at the rim and flushed it down as time expired to give Wisconsin its biggest lead of the half.The large lead allowed freshmen Alex Illikainen (six points) and Brevin Pritzl (four minutes) to make their debuts as Badgers.last_img