MADISON - If there were a book of Bo Ryan principles, his defensive philosophies would probably serve as the prologue.
The first chapter, however, would implement one of his stapled themes in a more proverbial way.
Because, as Badger followers have become accustomed to, Wisconsin teams coached by Ryan always want to make more free throws in a given contest than it's opponent attempts.
Article Continues Below
By holding Mississippi Valley State to 45 points and by making 31-of-44 free throw attempts, Wisconsin completed both of Ryan's musts. And the Badgers rounded out the non-conference portion of the schedule with an emphatic, albeit disjointed, 79-45 win over the Delta Devils.
"It was a game that was played a little bit differently from what we'll see in the league," Ryan said. "I think we did what we needed to do to close out the non-conference season."
Senior Jordan Taylor led all scorers with 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting. The unquestioned leader also dished two assists without committing a turnover.
Since shooting an abysmal 0-for-10 against UNLV four games ago, Taylor has hit 15-of-32 shots, raising his shooting percentage to nearly 39 percent in the meantime.
"Like I said before, I'm just going to keep shooting," Taylor, who hit 6-of-7 free throws, said. "Everybody hits rough patches. Some take a more glaring rough patch than others, maybe, but like Ben Brust said a couple weeks ago. It's about shooter's amnesia.
"Just keep shooting."
The Badgers roared out to a 17-2 lead to start Friday's matinee inside the Kohl Center. Mississippi Valley State, a team struggling to find it's rhythm and one that has played every single game away from its home floor so far this season, never really stood a chance.
Though the Delta Devils closed UW's lead to 26-15 with just less than six minutes to play in the first half, they never managed to chip away that margin any further.
Foul distribution and a lack of discipline - - MVSU committed 17 turnovers - - haunted the Delta Devils relentlessly.
"I got a technical foul just because I reiterated to the ref at that time how the foul discrepancy was 25-12," Mississippi Valley State head coach Sean Woods said. "I have no chance with that and my team has no chance with that. You're not going to be any Wisconsin team if the foul discrepancy is that bad.
"We had no chance to win or even to stay close for that matter."
The Delta Devils were whistled for 29 fouls, compared to 15 from Wisconsin. The Badgers hit 70 percent of their 44 free throw attempts while MVSU made 13-of-17 from the charity stripe.
"We'd like to get that a little higher," sophomore guard Josh Gasser, finished with 11 points on 2-of-5 shooting, said. "We knew they would pressure us like they did. To offset that we just had to drive hard into them and get to the free throw.
"We'd like to shoot a little higher percentage, but it was definitely good to get to the line more."
Jared Berggren scored 15 points on 4-of-7 shooting to round out the trio of Badgers double-digit scorers. Wisconsin shot 50 percent from the floor and held MVSU to a paltry 29.2 percent shooting clip.
The Badgers round out the non-conference portion of the schedule 11-2, with losses only to North Carolina and Marquette, two top 10 programs.
"I think we expected to be 13-0," Taylor said. "We thought we were going to be 13-0. The two games we lost obviously were tough games. I think we responded well to that tough week.
"We started doing more things that were positive then negative."
Wisconsin will open Big Ten play Tuesday night at Nebraska.
-Freshman guard Jordan Smith scored his first five points of his Badgers career. His scoring effort also set a new career high.
-Junior forward Ryan Evans ripped down a career high 11 rebounds. He also chipped in five points.
-Senior guard Rob Wilson played only 13 minutes, but managed to score seven points on 2-of-4 shooting from the field.
-Ben Brust hit his first three of the game, but then went on to miss each of his next four shots. He finished with five points, four rebounds and two turnovers in 23 minutes of play.
-Freshman Traevon Jackson logged 14 minutes of playing time and scored four points in the win.
-Wisconsin scored 19 points off MVSU turnovers and outscored the Delta Devils 24-18 in the paint. UW's bench also outscored Mississippi Valley State by a 25-14 margin.
Post game sound:
The following are audio files from the post game press conferences: