By RICK SOLEM
It was a solid couple decades.
Doc Meanwell had the Wisconsin Badgers cruising.
He started out 15-0 his first season. Two years later he did it again.
Remember those Badgers? They were Big Ten title winners three seasons in a row.
No? Probably because it was the early 1900s.
The Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team is off to its best start in a century.
One more win Sunday at home against No. 22 Iowa and the fourth-ranked Badgers will match that those 1911-12 and 1913-14 teams that went 15-0.
Wisconsin is 14-0 and 1-0 in the Big Ten after making Northwestern look foolish in a 76-49 road win Thursday night.
Had Wisconsin not scored the second half against the Wildcats, it would have gone to overtime. The Badgers were up 49-14 at halftime.
Freshman Bronson Koenig, a La Crosse native, played 21 minutes off the bench – the second most minutes off the bench – and scored four points (1-3 FGs, 2-2 FTs) to go along with an assist and a turnover.
The 6-foot-3 Aquinas grad is now averaging 3.8 points (20-41 FGs, 7-20 3s), 1.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 17 minutes a game.
Nigel Hayes was the story Thursday. The freshman scored 13 of his career high 19 in the first half off the bench, going 8-for-12 from the field. The 6-5 forward added six rebounds, three assists, two steals and no turnovers.
Sophomore starter Sam Dekker was 7-for-10 from the field. The 6-7 forward had 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Three other starters – Frank Kaminsky, Ben Brust, Traevon Jackson – were all 4-for-8 from the field.
Wisconsin shot 59 percent from the field (16-27) in the first half and held the Wildcats (7-7, 0-1) to 26 percent shooting (6-23).
The Badgers game against Iowa (12-2, 1-0) was moved back to 7 p.m. Sunday.