MILWAUKEE -- Ben Brust kept saying that as long as the Badgers were playing good basketball and winning games, the all-time school record for made threes would come as a natural by-product.
He never said the gym had to stay quiet when the moment arrived.
After Wisconsin trailed most of the game, the Hawthorn Woods, Ill., native hit the 228th three of his career -- one more than Tim Locum made between 1988 and 1991 -- with 1:07 remaining to give the Badgers a two-point lead over Oregon that it would not relinquish. Eight free throws later, UW locked down a berth in the Sweet 16 with an 85-77 win.
Brust's take on the moment: "As soon as I let it go, I knew it was going down."
In the locker room after the game, UW coaches and players came to a consensus about two things. First, that the 18,206 fans that packed the Bradley Center were as loud and powerful as anybody could remember, and second, that nobody doubted Brust would find a way.
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Ben Brust clinches UW's three-point record
With a three-pointer late in Saturday's victory, Ben Brust became Wisconsin's all-time leading three-point scorer.
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"Pretty apropos," UW assistant Gary Close said. "That's the kind of guy he is, he's just a tough sucker."
Early on, it did not appear UW would be in line for any celebrating. The Ducks (24-10) shot 55.6 percent from the floor in the first half and racked up 19 fast-break points en route to establishing a 49-37 halftime lead. Wisconsin closed the lead to 40-35 with just under two minutes remaining on a Frank Kaminsky (19 points, 8-of-15 FG) layup, but Oregon guard Joseph Young hit back-to-back threes and the Ducks closed on a 9-2 run.
Young (10-of-19 FG, 4-of-7 3FG) finished with a game-high 29 points
"He's a big-time player," Close said. "He's almost impossible to stop because he's so quick, he can shoot the three and he gets to the free throw line. He's a consummate scorer. He's the real deal."
Wisconsin shot 48.3 percent (14-of-29) in the first half, but could not keep Oregon from running and did not do a good job of stopping the Ducks guards from getting to the rim.
"For our guys to battle back, that shows what we've got in this locker room," assistant coach Greg Gard said. "Defensively, to be able to tighten the screws and chop 20 points off that team and not give them anything in transition in the second half and really go at them on the glass was a huge statement."
It started on UW's first possession of the second half. Sam Dekker (12 points) missed everything on a three from the left wing, but Traevon Jackson corralled the offensive rebound and turned the put-back into a three-point play after being fouled by Oregon guard Damyean Dotson. That sparked a 17-6 run over opening 4:35 of the second half that cut the Ducks' lead to one.
Jackson finished the night with 16 points (3-of-8 FG), eight rebounds, five assists and three turnovers. In the face of constant pressure from Oregon's backcourt, spearheaded by Jonathan Loyd, Jackson played a sparkling floor game in the second half.
"He knew when to push it and when to wait, he probed a little bit," Gard said. "Playing at a high tempo all the time against them is not what you want to do, you want to change speeds on them a little bit. He was so composed [and he] handled the pressure. I mean, he's got a guy in his hip pocket the whole time.
"I told him that was as good a second half as a point guard has played here in a long time."
It led to impressive offensive production for UW. The Badgers averaged 1.55 points on 31 second-half possessions, powered by 15-of-31 shooting and nine offensive rebounds.
UW's size advantage over Oregon's front line appeared to wear on the Ducks as the second half progressed.
"I think so, and we got some good bounces," Dekker said. "When you can get those little toughness points, a lot of times things are going to come back for you."
The possession that led to Brust's record-setter was the perfect example.
Kaminsky rebounded a Dekker miss and then redshirt junior guard Josh Gasser missed a three. After a scrum, Dekker came away with the ball and Jackson missed another three. Head coach Bo Ryan called a timeout after freshman point guard Bronson Koenig secured a third offensive rebound.
When play resumed, Kaminsky missed, Dekker fought for the offensive rebound and kicked it to Jackson.
"I was about to pull it," he said. "I saw Ben and when he's open, he's hitting that like 90 percent of the time."
Brust found the bottom of the net, vaulted himself into the program's rarfied air, sent the Badgers to Anaheim-the West regional site-to face tomorrow's winner between Creighton and Baylor in the Sweet 16.