MADISON — D’Mitrick Trice scored a career-high 31 points and Nate Reuvers had 22 points to help Wisconsin overpower Milwaukee in a 83-64 victory Saturday, Dec. 21.
The win gave the Badgers (6-5) a sweep against intrastate opponents this season, with victories over Milwaukee, Green Bay and Marquette.
Darius Roy delivered 21 points and Te’Jon Lucas, an Illinois transfer in his first season at Milwaukee, had 10 points for the Panthers (5-7), who have lost five straight games.
The game marked the Badgers debut of junior Micah Potter, an Ohio State transfer who was denied appeals to play five times by the NCAA’s Committee of Legislative Relief.
Potter, a 6-foot-10 forward, shot 3 of 6 from the field, scored 12 points and played 13 minutes. The last time Potter played at Ohio State was during an NCCA tournament loss to Gonzaga on Nov. 18, 2018. The stretch between that game and Saturday’s Wisconsin appearance for Potter was 644 days.
Wisconsin held a 43-41 halftime lead after Milwaukee stayed within striking distance in the first half with a 3-point shooting barrage. The Panthers shot 7 of 11 from beyond the arc, including a pair of banked 3-pointers. Roy and Lucas combined for four of those long-range baskets.
The Badgers held the Panthers scoreless from 3-point range in the second half. They also held Lucas scoreless in the second.
The Panthers scored one point in their first five possessions after halftime and the Badgers extended their lead to 49-42 on a pair of Reuver free throws with 15:59 to go in the game.
The Badgers shot 50% from the field and 46% from 3-point range.
Milwaukee: There’s potential for the Panthers to make an impact if the backcourt duo of Roy and Lucas can maintain confidence on offense. Roy is the team’s leading returning scorer from last season at 15.8 points per game and Lucas entered Saturday’s game with 4.2 assists per game this season.
Wisconsin: Potter will add some punch on offense for the Badgers, who have had several streaky shooting efforts this season. If Reuvers and Potter both shoot well, it bodes well for Wisconsin, which has missed the production provided on offense by big man Ethan Happ, who exhausted his eligibility last season.
The Badgers entered Saturday’s game with 11.5 turnover-per-game, and need to clean up their ball-handling issues before returning to Big Ten Conference action. They committed nine turnovers on Saturday.
Both teams play two final games before conference action. Milwaukee plays at Northern Kentucky on Dec. 28 and Wright State on Dec. 30 before the Horizon League opener on Jan. 3 against IUPUI.
Wisconsin faces No. 21 Tennessee at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn. on Dec. 28 and hosts Rider on Dec. 31 before resuming Big Ten play at Ohio State on Jan. 5.