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ISU MBB: Bengals overmatched in 78-44 drubbing at Wisconsin

December 8, 2016

Maybe the Bengals were outmatched by No. 17 Wisconsin, but their performance Wednesday wouldn’t have beaten many teams.

Idaho State (1-8) shot 33.3 percent from the field, 5 of 13 at the free-throw line, was outrebounded 47-21, trailed by as much as 40 points, had more than twice the amount of turnovers (17) as assists (eight) and was nearly outscored by the Badgers’ effort in the paint alone (44 points).

Wisconsin ran away from ISU 78-44 Wednesday in Madison, Wisconsin, holding the Bengals to their lowest point total since a 54-38 loss at Denver early in the 2014-15 season.

Ethan Telfair scored two points on 1-of-9 shooting, and freshman Balint Mocsan was ISU’s only player in double figures with 10 points. Telfair has been held under 10 points twice in his last three games after scoring single digits twice in 31 games last season — those two games also came during a three-game span.

ISU was down 10-0 before Erik Nakken hit a corner 3-pointer to get the Bengals on the board. ISU struggled to find its way inside on offense, settling for 23 shots from the arc with seven makes. The Bengals entered the game shooting 39.7 percent from deep and were 30.4 percent against Wisconsin.

“They’re bigger, stronger, faster, quicker,” ISU head coach Bill Evans said. “But that’s why they’re ranked in the top 15 in the country and why they paid us to come in here. They can do that.”

The Badgers (8-2) pulled down 13 offensive rebounds and scored 18 second-chance points. Wisconsin severely outsized Idaho State and held a 44-14 advantage in points in the paint. Six-foot-10 sophomore Ethan Happ had a double-double with 12 points and 12 boards, and the Badgers shot 51.7 percent from the field.

“We got beat up pretty good physically,” Evans said. “I think they got us, mentally, a little bit. They took our spirit a little bit.”

ISU redshirt freshman guard Brandon Boyd was held scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting, and sophomore center Novak Topalovic made his only shot from the field. Topalovic was in early foul trouble and limited to 21 minutes. Hayes Garrity was ISU’s second-leading scorer with nine points. Telfair was the team’s leading rebounder with five and added four assists and two steals. Sophomore Gary Chivichyan missed his second consecutive game for undisclosed reasons.

The Bengals have four nonconference games remaining until their Big Sky Conference opener Dec. 29 at Montana. Next up is Bristol on Saturday at Holt Arena.

“I think we can really compete in the Big Sky,” Evans said. “We were overmatched tonight.”