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Wisconsin loses lead, falls to UCLA 72-70

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A disappointing end to the Hall of Fame Classic.

NCAA Basketball: Hall of Fame Classic-Wisconsin at UCLA Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers started off strong on Tuesday night, but ultimately fell to the UCLA Bruins 72-70 after Aaron Holiday’s layup with 0.9 seconds left in the game.

Holiday scored 14 of his team-high 18 points for the Bruins (4-1) in the second half, including hitting five of six shots (two from three-point range) in the final 20 minutes. Five UCLA players scored 10 or more points.

Redshirt junior forward Ethan Happ contributed a game-high 19 points with nine rebounds and five assists in the loss for Wisconsin (2-3). Three other Badgers scored in double-digits, including D’Mitrik Trice, Khalil Iverson and Brad Davison all recording 14 points.

Davison started his first collegiate game and made his presence known on both ends of the court, drawing several charges.

UCLA shot 54 percent (27 of 50) in the game, including hitting nine of 17 three-point shots, compared to Wisconsin’s 48.1 percent (25 of 52) and only five of 22 from deep. The Bruins out-rebounded the Badgers 28-25.

Wisconsin played well to start the game, taking a 38-31 lead into halftime after creating a 12-5 run in the last 4:46. UW shot 15-of-29 (51.7 percent) from the field. UCLA shot exactly 50 percent in the first 20 minutes (12 of 24), but the Badgers, well, badgered the Bruins—forcing 10 turnovers while drawing charges.

Iverson had a then game-high 12 points on five of seven shooting, with Trice hitting four of six shots for nine points. Happ scored eight points with five rebounds and four assists.

Davison, who showed up on both ends of the court, contributed seven points (including two three-pointers) in the first half.

Forward Gyorgy Goloman contributed 11 points on four-of-four shooting with three rebounds, with center Thomas Welsh adding nine of his 11 points and four rebounds for UCLA in the first 20 minutes.

The Badgers started off the second half with a Happ layup, but the Bruins then proceeded to go on a 9-0 run to tie the game up at 40. It was part of a broader 24-6 run in 6:03 that allowed UCLA to take a 55-46 lead with 13:19 left in the game after a Prince Ali three-pointer.

Wisconsin would fight back with 16-2 run in overtaking a 62-57 lead with 7:40 left. Trice hit a pair of free throws to give the Badgers a one-point lead at 58-57, with Davison and fellow true freshman guard Kobe King scoring eight points in that 14-point swing.

King recorded nine points in 17 minutes of play on Tuesday night.

After Wisconsin took a 65-59 lead with 3:52 remaining in the game, UCLA would end the game on a 13-5 run that would ultimately result in the win. A pair of three-pointers in consecutive offensive possessions allowed the Bruins to bring it to within a 67-65 game.

UW also committed three turnovers in the final three minutes, 30 seconds, with eight of their 12 total turnovers for the game coming in the second half.

Holiday scored the team’s final 10 points, including hitting two three-pointers, in the final 2:47.

A layup by Trice allowed UW to get within one at 70-69. Iverson then was fouled but only hit one of two of his free throw attempts with 31 seconds remaining.

On UCLA’s final possession of the game, Holiday drove to the right and hit the layup against Happ to allow the Bruins to come away with the win.

In the second half, UCLA shot 57.7 percent (15 of 26) from the field, including seven of nine from three-point range. Wisconsin hit on 10 of 23 shots (43.5 percent) in that frame, and only two of nine from beyond the arc.