Steven Crowl leads Wisconsin past No. 24 Virginia 65-41 in opener at the Fort Myers Tip-Off
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Steven Crowl had 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead Wisconsin to a 65-41 win over No. 24 Virginia in the Fort Myers Tip-Off on Monday night.
John Blackwell added 10 points for the Badgers (3-2), who had 30 points inside against Virginia’s vaunted defense.
Reece Beekman had 17 points to lead the Cavaliers (4-1).
Playing at the Suncoast Arena with a crowd that was seemingly backing the Badgers, Wisconsin hit its first two shots, then went on a 13-3 run for an early 18-7 lead.
The Badgers led 28-18 at the halftime despite point guard Chuckie Hepburn and forward Tyler Wahl going a combined 0 of 12 from the field.
Down 12 in the second half, Virginia cut the deficit to 40-35 on a three-point play by Beekman.
Wisconsin responded with an 11-0 run to take a 51-35 lead. A tip dunk by reserve Carter Gilmore highlighted the run for the Badgers.
Virginia (4-1) moved into The Associated Press’ Top 25 on Monday, but will likely drop out after getting routed.
For Wisconsin, this continued a brutal start to its November and December schedule. The Badgers have already played No. 7 Tennessee and will face No. 4 Marquette on Dec. 2, No. 18 Michigan State on Dec. 5 and No. 3 Arizona on Dec. 9.
This is the fifth meeting between the Badgers and Cavaliers since 2012. Virginia has won three of the games. In every game except Monday, the winner hasn’t scored any more than 60 points. The loser didn’t hit 40 points in two of the meetings.
When Kirk Penney — a member of Wisconsin’s 2000 Final Four team — returned to the school as a special assistant to coach Greg Gard, nobody was happier than Tony Bennett. “He’s like a little brother to me,” Bennett said. “When my wife and I were over in New Zealand, they told about this young kid who’s really good. They brought him to practice and we played 1 on 1. He basically played with a pro team. I thought, ‘This kid might be good enough.’”
Wisconsin: Will play the winner of the West Virginia-SMU game from later Monday.
Virginia: Will play the loser of the Mountaineers-Mustangs contest.