The mens basketball squad closed out the 2002 preseason with a 97-55 win over Gallos de Pelea. The Badgers go into the regular season after a 2-0 preseason and 21 consecutive exhibition victories. Wisconsin last lost in exhibition play in 1992.
The Badgers came out of the gates strong, jumping out to a 10-2 advantage to start the game. Kirk Penney scored nine of the Badgers first 13 points and led all scorers with 21. Penney tallied 15 first-half points and made eight of 15 shots on the night.
Although Penney was the top individual performer, the story of the night was the Badgers balanced offensive attack. All 14 Wisconsin players scored, including four players in double figures. Devin Harris looked comfortable in his new point guard position dishing out eight assists.
For the Gallos Samuel Bowie was the top scorer with 15 points and Jose Escobedo totaled nine rebounds.
After going into halftime with a 50-21 lead, the second half was full of highlights for the Badgers. Freshman Alando Tucker scored two of his 10 points on a soaring one-handed alley-oop dunk from Freddie Owens bringing the crowd of 16,341 to its feet. To finish the game, Deandre Buchanan added the exclamation point with a fast break dunk in the closing seconds of the game.
After the game,Coach Bo Ryan was anxious for the Badgers to open regular season play against Eastern Washington Friday. "We know what we have facing us this weekend, hungry teams that will be chomping at the bit to get at us," Ryan said, "Teams that know how to win."
The NABC Classic tips off Friday night at 6 p.m. at the Kohl Center. Wisconsin plays Eastern Washington at 8 p.m.