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Trevon Bluiett’s hot second half lifts No. 15 Xavier over Wisconsin in 80–70 win

The Badgers had a chance late, but the senior guard blew up.

MADISON — For a good portion of Thursday night’s game, the Wisconsin Badgers contained Trevon Bluiett.

But two consecutive threes in 40 seconds gave the No. 15 Xavier Musketeers the spark they needed to overcome Greg Gard’s squad and a raucous Kohl Center crowd in an 80–70 win.

Xavier (3–0) went on a 14–4 run in the last 1:42 of the game to remain undefeated against a younger Wisconsin (2–1) squad.

Bluiett scored 21 of his game-high 25 points in the second half, including 12 of the team’s final 16 in the last 2:25 of regulation. The senior guard shot 6-of-13 from the field and also grabbed nine rebounds in the win.

Senior guard J.P. Macura was a thorn in the Badgers’ side throughout the game, tallying 20 points (10-of-15 shooting), eight rebounds, and four assists.

Wisconsin forward Ethan Happ scored a team-high 21 points and added eight assists with four rebounds. Guard Brevin Pritzl had 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting (3-of-5 from three-point range), while true freshman guard scored 12 points and recorded four steals in the loss.

Xavier out-rebounded Wisconsin 37–28 and outscored UW 36–26 in the paint, 12–4 on second-chance points and 13–3 on fast-break points.

Though the Badgers shot only 40.6 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, a 9–0 run in the last 3:28 tied the game at 34–34 entering halftime.

Xavier actually led for 16:36 of the first half and out-rebounded Wisconsin 19–14 in that span. The Musketeers only hit one of their last seven shots in the last 3:41 to allow the Badgers to make it a game. Macura and forward Kaiser Gates scored eight points in the first half. Bluiett also contributed four points and five rebounds.

Davison scored 11 of his 12 points in the first 20 minutes on 4-of-7 shooting (including a bank-shot three-pointer), but also contributed heavily on the defensive end with four steals and taking a defensive charge.

Happ tallied nine points and three rebounds in the first half while Pritzl contributed seven points on 3-of-5 shooting.

Xavier shot the ball extremely well in the second half, hitting 15 of 26 shots (57.7 percent), including four of five from three-point range.

Wisconsin only shot 41.4 percent from the field in the second half, including a cold stretch late that contributed to the loss.

Davison only scored one point in the final 20 minutes.

UW fought back, however, and tied the game again with Aleem Ford’s three-pointer with 4:01 remaining to make it 64–64. Ford had a chance to give UW the lead but missed two free throws with 3:38 remaining.

Wisconsin actually made it a 10–1 run with guard D’Mitrik Trice’s jumper to get the 66–64 lead before Bluiett drained two free throws with 2:25 remaining.

With the game tied at 66–66 with 1:47 left, Bluiett drilled the first of two three-point shots to give Xavier the lead. Forty seconds later with 1:07 left, he hit another from downtown to give the Musketeers a six-point advantage.

Wisconsin only hit one of its last eight shots to end the game, while Xavier hit seven of its last nine and utilized a 10–0 run in a 1:18 span to ultimately pull away.