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Brust scores 17 as Wisconsin beats Colgate 68-41

Wisconsin's Ben Brust, left, shoots past Colgate's Luke Roh during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011, in Madison, Wis. Brust had a game-high 17 points in Wisconsin's 68-41 win. Wisconsin's Ben Brust, left, shoots past Colgate's Luke Roh during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011, in Madison, Wis. Brust had a game-high 17 points in Wisconsin's 68-41 win. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
November 16, 2011

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MADISON, Wis.—First-year Colgate coach Matt Langel knows which program he would like his Raiders to emulate: The team that put a beating on them Wednesday night.

Reserve guard Ben Brust scored a career-high 17 points and No. 14 Wisconsin notched 11 steals in a 68-41 win over Colgate.

"(Wisconsin) is really a model for college basketball in my mind," Langel said. "Certainly if we could ever get our basketball program to be the Wisconsin of the Patriot League . if we can ever get to that point at our level, I'll feel really good about our program and where we're at."

Brust scored 13 points in the first half, including four 3-pointers. The Badgers (2-0) were 8 of 14 from beyond the arc as they built a 42-20 halftime lead.

It was the second straight game in double figures for Brust, who scored a total of 10 points in 15 games as a freshman.

"Brust really had it going in the first half," said Langel, whose team was led by John Brandenburg's 11 points. "A couple of them were wide open, but a couple of them, we were in the area and they made them."

Brust hit his second 3-pointer from 25 feet out in front of the Colgate bench, prompting Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan to joke that Brust's range is "probably halfcourt." He nailed his fourth on a pull-up from the top of the key when no Raiders defender met him as he brought the ball up, giving the Badgers a 32-14 lead.

"I just smiled and was like `Thank you,'" said Brust, who finished 6 of 11 from the floor and made half of his 8 3-point attempts. "I mean, to get that open, I was like, `Well, I'm going to shoot it.'"

No other player scored in double figures for Wisconsin, which finished the game 10 of 23 from 3-point range. The Badgers hit 15 3s in their season-opening win over Kennesaw State on Saturday.

Preseason All-America point guard Jordan Taylor was 3 of 4 from long range and Jared Berggren added another trey in the first half for the Badgers, who also outscored the Raiders 16-4 in the paint before the break.

"I don't think there was one 3 in there that wasn't a good 3," Ryan said. "If that's what the defense is giving us, we'll take it."

Unlike Wisconsin's 85-31 victory in its opener, the win Wednesday night was not without warts. The Badgers cooled off in the second half, scoring just two points in the first 8 minutes, but their lead never fell below 18 as Colgate (1-1) shot 34.8 percent from the floor for the game.

"Their defense is good," Langel said. "Taylor's exceptional; he's a special defensive player. And the other guys, you know, they do their jobs."

Colgate could only muster six points during the Badgers' cold spell, which ended when the Raiders were called for goaltending on Rob Wilson's putback attempt with 11:40 left. Wisconsin shot just 36.7 percent in the second half, and made only two of 10 free throw attempts.

"We were in a position to be able to cover up for mistakes," Ryan said. "You don't always get that opportunity."