This one of those seemingly 50/50 games on the road in B1G Play that is the difference between winning the B1G Title and finishing close.
Good start for UW as Showalter scores off an offensive rebound, and Happ with the And1 down low. Hayes scores off an inbounds down low. MN found room down low for its first two baskets. I like that UW is getting the ball inside and not settling for jumpers. So far Showalter has a layup, 3, rebound, and steal, so typical work for him. But UW D needs to figure something out because MN is getting some open looks without much ball movement. MN couple turnovers looking to move get out and run. Happ with some terrible awareness down low. Got too deep under the basket and nowhere to go.
UW 10 MN 6 15:21′ 1st Half
Teams trading baskets. Showalter still the early MOTM with an assist to a cutting Koenig for 2 and drawing a foul on the Gophers. Hayes drawn a couple touch (soft) fouls on Minnesota with his quick first step getting him the proper angles to the hoop. Hopefully we can take advantage of how tight its being called. Happ blows another bunny as he just lacks the proper feel when backing down his defender.
UW 14 Minnesota 13 11:39′ 1st Half
Happ again speeds himself up and misses from close. Thats at least 6 points he’s left out there. Gophers take its first lead at 15-14 on a nice run out after a Hayes miss. Attacks the rim and Showalter with his first mistake, whistled for the reach in. UW sputtering on offense without Koenig out there as Trice has cooled. Happ finally uses the spin to get 2 down low. No idea why he made that one and missed the others. Brown and Trice get their wires crossed as Brown fires a leading outlet pass to a stationary Trice. As much as I hate clueless Badger offense of chucking 3s, Wisconsin could use some outside shooting to improve floor spacing.
Minnesota 20 Wisconsin 18 7:10′ 1st Half
Hayes bulls his way inside and misses but Iverson cleans it up to level the score. Iverson then gets to aggressive on the driving Gopher despite Trice being in position and leads to an open 3 for the Gophers. That was dumb. Koenig responds with a 3 as UW finally shows it can make outside shots. Hayes confirms with a midrange jumper to wrestle the lead back for UW. Gophers stick a 3 but Hayes answers as the lead seesaws. Iverson with an awesome block but goaltending called. Yeah, hit the glass first.
Minnesota 28 Wisconsin 28 3:57′ 1st Half
Whoever tightens the defense first wins
UW gets fancy with backdoor lob from Koenig to Hayes and Gophers deflect? and Hayes can’t handle. Just a turnover in the end. Gophers continue to kill UW with dribble penetration getting good looks. Showalter airballs a 3 off a kick from Happ as Showalter’s star has dulled considerably from his start. He makes amens with a layup as he cuts the Gopher lead to 1. Koenig bumped on a drive and no call. Gophers get the rebound and Gophers have the lead into the half. Probably the right result.
HALFTIME Minnesota 34 Wisconsin 32
- Gophers getting ball inside and either making short shots or kicking out for wide open 3s. Minnesota has 11 assists on 14 baskets which is an absurd but amazing ratio.
- UW not shooting poorly but only 7 assists on 13 baskets. UW only shot 3 FTs after having drawn the 6th foul on The U with 4:46 left.
- Hayes has been carrying the load offensively for the Badgers with 5 of UW’s 13 makes. Happ (2-6) and Koenig (2-5) have to pitch in. Badgers have played 10 guys but the only bench points are Iverson off a Hayes miss. UW bench 1-3 shooting overall.
|Field Goal %||41.9||50.0|
|Three Point %||50.0||66.7|
|Free Throw %||100.0||66.7|
Hayes continues where he left off with an easy 2 and Happ with a block. Happ with a putback and a nifty reverse layup as he heats up maybe? UW lose their heads and commits a shot clock violation and Iverson travels. Koenig gets lost on D and enables an easy layup for the Gophers. Badger transition D has not improved
Minnesota 40 Wisconsin 38 15:28′ 2nd Half
Illlikanen a mile off on a 3 and Gophers toss in a jump hook to take a 4-point lead. Trice with a needed triple after a Gopher 3. Koenig with a slip to Happ for the flush to even things at 45. Happ rising here in the 2nd as he gets another one down low. Somehow the Badgers only down 1 here as Minnesota still seems to be directing traffic.
Minnesota 48 Wisconsin 47 11:27′ 2nd Half
Happ with a nice And1 to give UW a lead and follows it up with a finish using his speed to get the edge. Gophers splash a 3 to retake the lead. Happ again as he starts to take over for the Badgers O. Everything flowing through him. Too bad UW can’t get the defense tuned in. Basically Gophers and Happ trading baskets now. This is what I imagine the NFC Championship game might look like kind of. Jordan Hill with an unexpected 3 to break the 57-57 deadlock.
Wisconsin 60 Minnesota 59 7:27′ 2nd Half
Gophers stick a 3 in transition but Brown hits a drop step shot as we’re still tight into the last 5 minutes. Trice splits some FT as does Happ and we are honors even with about 4′ left. After a strong defensive stand forcing a shot clock violation Happ travels.
Minnesota 64 Wisconsin 64 3:54′ 2nd Half
More good defense for UW and as they get a steal. Hayes with some smooth moves down low and gives UW a lead. Gophers throw it away off the bounce and opportunity here for UW to get a 2-score advantage which in this game is rare. Testament to either bad or disciplened D that nobody is in the bonus. Happ bothers Gopher big enough to force a turnover and then beats his man down the floor to draw the guys 5th foul. Happ to the line for 2. Happ splits the pair and UW clinging to a 67-64 lead with 90 seconds left. Good defense again for UW forces Minnesota to settle for a long 3 which clangs away. Badgers run clock and Hayes off on a 3. Badgers force another miss and Hill hustles for the rebound. Koenig dribbling around clearly wants the shot. Gophers double him and Hill travels off the kick. Gophers drill a 3 to tie with 11 second left. Not bad defense just a great shot. Koenig loses the handle and we’re in OT.
but UW needed another basket and could never shake Minnesota. Credit Gophers for sticking around and not letting the Badgers shake free.
END OF REGULATION 67-67
Hayes opens OT with a basket and an uncalled offensive foul on Minnesota gets the Gophers back level after 2 FT. That should have been UW ball going the other way. Bounces all going Minnesota way on the FT and a banked in midrange shot. Gophers celebrate blocking Happ’s shot but Happ grabs the ball and kicks it to Koenig for a 3. Badgers up 72-71. Gophers 1 foul away from being in the bonus. Koenig can’t stay in front of his man and Gopher guard draws the foul as Koenig stuck an elbow in his chest. He makes both and Minnesota reclaim the lead 73-72. Happ gets fouled on a shot down low and no whistle. Gophers with the ball up 1 under 1:45. Phantom foul on a Gopher drives and Minnesota splits. 74-72 Gophers 1:30′ left. Hayes throws an elbow into the defenders chest to separate enough to tie things back up. More dribble penetration frees a midrange shot and UW takes a TO.
Minnesota 76 Wisconsin 74 :53.8′ left in OT
Koenig drills a 3 to give Badgers a 1-point lead. Minnesota takes a TO. I’m thinking a foul on UW will be called. Badgers have had problems all game keeping Gopher guards out of the lane. Lets see if the Badgers can rise up and get a stop. If I’m the Gophers I’m looking for Jared Cook on the sideline.
Gophers travel on the way to the rim. No call. Looks like Minnesota in position for the rebound but Happ rips it away. UW still wasn’t in the bonus so they break the Minnesota pressure well to drain some more clock. However, its Ethan Happ to the line for the 1-and-1 and that is good news for Minnesota. Surprised UW didn’t use a TO after breaking the pressure to try and get the ball back to Koenig. Happ thought it was short but it stays down. This is a biggie. Way short and Minnesota can win with a 3. NO! the 3 off line and the Badgers escape!
FINAL Wisconsin 78 Minnesota 76
|Field Goal %||50.0||46.9|
|Three Point %||50.0||52.9|
|Free Throw %||69.2||70.0|