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South Carolina State’s Janai Raynor Powell drives in opposition to Wisconsin’s Andy Van Vliet on Friday night time.(Photo: Andy Manis/Associated Press)

MADISON – Andy Van Vliet confirmed, in spurts and for one night time, why the Wisconsin workers signed him two years in the past.

After being declared academically ineligible by the NCAA in 2015-’16, Van Vliet performed a complete of 48 minutes final season.

After contemplating transferring, the 7-foot ahead determined to remain at UW and work on his general sport.

The outcome Friday in UW’s opener in opposition to visiting South Carolina State was an a18-point, eight-rebound efficiency in an 85-50 victory.

“It felt good to be on the floor after two years of not really playing,” mentioned Van Vliet, who hit four of 5 three-pointers, 7 of 11 pictures general and added two blocks. “It’s a blessing.

“This low season I simply attacked it, labored out every single day and had individuals round me to badist me.”

UW coach Greg Gard desires extra, significantly on the defensive finish. 

“I take a look at Andy’s numbers,” Gard mentioned, “and I do know he has 18 and eight, and I don’t badume he performed very properly.”

Overall, Gard expects higher work on the defensive finish and extra vitality when the pictures do not drop and fewer turnovers. UW had 18 badists but additionally 13 turnovers, together with a team-high 4 by junior guard Khalil Iverson.

“There’s going to be a litany of issues,” mentioned Gard, whose staff hosts Yale at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Ethan Happ proved to be an excessive amount of for the Bulldogs to deal with inside. 

The redshirt junior scored 12 factors within the first half to badist UW construct a 46-28 halftime lead. He hit eight of 11 pictures general, all from inside, and completed with 20 factors and 11 rebounds. The solely blemish was that Happ hit simply four of 9 free-throw makes an attempt.

BOX SCORE: Wisconsin 85, South Carolina State 50

Guard Brevin Pritzl regarded for his shot early but additionally confirmed the flexibility to drive and kick the ball to open shooters. The redshirt sophomore hit three of 6 three-pointers and 6 of 10 pictures general and completed with 17 factors, three rebounds, two badists and two steals.

“Ethan has gotten on me about taking pictures,” Pritzl said. “So I’ve acquired to be a bit of extra aggressive, however nonetheless simply attempting to make the best play for us.”

Sophomore guard D’Mitrik Trice (13 factors) performed a strong general sport by hitting three of 6 three-pointers and contributing a team-high 5 badists with just one turnover.

Guard Donte Wright scored 13 factors within the opening half however did not rating after halftime for South Carolina State. 

The Bulldogs, who completed 7-9 within the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and 11-20 general final season, are picked to complete seventh within the MEAC this season.

UW struggled on each ends of the ground for the primary 10 minutes after halftime and the lead was solely 58-47 till Happ scored inside, Van Vliet hit back-to-back three-pointers in a span of 22 seconds after which blocked a shot by Wright. That led to a lay-in by Pritzl for a 68-47 lead with 7 minutes 23 seconds left. 

“I used to be actually pleased with my guys,” South Carolina State coach Murray Garvin mentioned. “I badumed we performed rather well for 30 minutes. We had a 10-point sport there late within the second half and it was a couple of three-minute stretch it went from 10 to 21.

“That was the difference in the game.”