MADISON, Wis. – Ethan Happ scored 19 points and grabbed his 1,000th career rebound Saturday, sending No. 16 Wisconsin past Grambling State 84-53.
Happ finished with eight rebounds for Wisconsin (10-2). He is the 15th player in Big Ten history to reach 1,000 rebounds.
Grambling State (6-7) tested the Badgers early. But with just more than seven minutes to go in the first half, Lasani Johnson’s 3-pointer tied it at 22. The Badgers finished the half on a 17-5 run, opened the second half with an 8-0 spurt and weren’t challenged the rest of the way.
The Tigers scored just seven points over a nearly 15-minute period that spanned both halves. The Badgers pushed their lead to more than 30 for the first time at 62-31.
D’Mitrik Trice scored 14 points for the Badgers. Dallas Polk-Hilliard had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead Grambling State.
Grambling State: The Tigers, picked in the preseason to repeat as Southwestern Athletic Conference champs, were simply outmatched after making some early noise.
Wisconsin: Beating Grambling State isn’t going to burnish Wisconsin’s resume come the NCAA Tournament. But the Badgers shook off any rust after a nine-day layoff for finals.
Grambling State: The Tigers travel to Alabama State Jan. 5 to begin conference play.
Wisconsin: The Badgers head to Western Kentucky Dec. 29 to wrap up nonconference play.
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