The shots did not necessarily fall on Thursday afternoon for the Wisconsin Badgers, but Greg Gard’s team battled and secured a 59–54 victory over the Maryland Terrapins inside Madison Square Garden during the Big Ten Tournament.
Late, clutch efforts from the likes of Brevin Pritzl, Brad Davison, and Khalil Iverson pushed Wisconsin (15–17) past Maryland (19–13) after the teams were deadlocked for a good portion of the second half.
Redshirt junior forward Ethan Happ scored a team-high 14 points and seven rebounds, along with connecting on six of seven free throws in the win against the Terps.
Davison tallied 13 points (5-of-12 shooting) with three rebounds and two assists with zero turnovers, while Iverson contributed 11 points, six rebounds, and a huge steal with five seconds remaining to seal the game.
Pritzl scored 10 points and pulled down six rebounds as well.
It was a rough day shooting from the field for Wisconsin, which only hit 18 of 50 field goals (36 percent) against Maryland—three of 18 (16.7 percent) from three-point range—and only connected on eight of 23 attempts (34.8 percent) in the final 20 minutes.
Wisconsin made up for it, however, at the charity stripe and in limiting mistakes. The Badgers converted 20 of 24 from the free-throw line, including 14 of 16 in the second half. Happ connected on four of his five free-throw attempts in the final 20.
The Badgers also only committed seven turnovers to the Terrapins’ 12, scoring 15 points off of Maryland turnovers.
Kevin Huerter scored a game-high 20 points for Maryland, 14 of which were in the second half, on 8-of-15 shooting. Anthony Cowan contributed 16 points and four assists, with forward Bruno Fernando adding 12 points and nine rebounds. Altogether, the three made up 48 of Maryland’s 54 points. The team as a whole shot 44 percent (22 of 50), including only 2-of-14 from three-point range.
Wisconsin held a seven-point lead with 9:35 remaining in the first half, but poor shooting—1-of-11 from the field the rest of half—allowed Maryland to creep back in and actually take a one-point lead with 1:14 left until intermission. Happ connected on his two free throws of the half, and a Pritzl three with 12 seconds allowed the Badgers to retain the lead. Cowan’s two free throws to end the half gave Wisconsin a 28–26 lead.
In the second half, the Badgers pushed out a seven-point advantage as late as the 17:31 mark after two Pritzl free throws, but the Terrapins fought back to make it a one or two-possession game. Maryland tied the game four times between the 4:18 and 1:23 marks, with three of those four instances thanks to Huerter.
With the game tied at 53–53 after a Huerter jumper, both Pritzl and Davison missed three-pointers around 1:03 and 50 seconds, respectively—only for Iverson and Happ to get offensive rebounds to extend the possessions.
After a Wisconsin timeout, Pritzl came around and drilled his last mid-range shot of the afternoon with 28 seconds remaining to give Wisconsin a two-point lead at 55–53.
Huerter connected on one of two free throws with nine seconds left to trim Wisconsin’s advantage to one but fouled Davison on the ensuing possession. The true freshman hit both shots from the charity stripe, giving the Badgers a 57–54 lead with eight seconds to play.
Maryland called its final timeouts between Davison’s free throws, when Iverson stole the inbounds pass and was fouled with five seconds left. He sealed the win with two free throws to send Wisconsin to the next round facing No. 1 overall seed Michigan State on Friday.