The Wisconsin Men’s Basketball team picked a huge victory on Saturday by knocking off the Marquette Golden Eagles in overtime.
Last time out, Wisconsin played on of it’s best offensive performances of the season and Saturday that continued as the Badgers came out red hot on the offensive end of the floor. In the first half, the Badgers seemed to hit everything as they knocked down 69% of their shots from the field. A large chunk of that came from Chucky Hepburn who scored 16 in the first twenty. At half, Wisconsin led 41-30.
When Wisconsin came out for the 2nd half they were without the hot hand in Chucky Hepburn who was being treated for an injury. Things cooled off in the second half as both teams came out and struggled to score early in the second half which allowed Wisconsin to put together a small 7-3 run to extend their lead. However, Marquette came rallying back as they went on a small 6-0 run to help cut into the lead.
Freshman guard Connor Essegian was huge for the Badgers in this contest and stepped in for Hepburn nicely in the second half. When it seemed Marquette was really starting to gain momentum and cut into the lead Essegian hit a massive three-pointer to help stabilize the ship.
Unfortunately for Essegian, the refs decided to call everything a foul in the 2nd half which led to him picking up four fouls late in the game. Wisconsin was without Hepburn and Essegian for a large chunk of the late stretch which allowed Marquette to crawl all the way back to down just three.
However, just when it seemed Wisconsin was starting to falter Hepburn returned to the court for Wisconsin. After back-to-back turnovers for the Badgers late Wisconsin found themselves down 68-67 with just a minute remaining. Thankfully for Wisconsin, Hepburn was ready to go when he came back and knocked down a massive step-back three to give the Badgers a lead late.
Marquette would respond though, as late in the shot clock, the Eagles beat Wisconsin for a dunk and tied the game at 70. Chucky Hepburn was not able to hit a buzzer-beater at the end of the half which sent this contest to overtime.
In overtime, Jordan Davis had a wide-open look for three to give the Badgers a lead but missed it in, well, bad fashion. Davis would respond though as he knocked down a huge three the following possession.
Late in overtime, Wisconsin remained up three points but Marquette would not go away as Kam Jones nailed a clutch three-point with just under 30 seconds to go in the game to tie things at 77.
The Badgers had the ball for the last 30 seconds and Chucky Hepburn was able to work some magic and find a cutting Max Klesmit with just seconds to go. Klesmit found a way to get a shot off and after hitting what seemed like every inch of the rim the ball fell through to give the Badgers a lead with just seconds to play. The Badgers would force a turnover on Marquette's next possession to win 80-77 after Wahl put in one free throw.
Overall, this was a great win for Wisconsin. The Badgers battled through a ton of adversity without Chucky Hepburn in the second half. Additionally, Wisconsin was dealing with a ton of foul trouble but was able to withstand the storm in a tough environment. Anytime you pick up a win over Marquette is a good day and the Badgers just that on Saturday.
Wisconsin will return to action on Tuesday, December 6th as they get into the early Big Ten games taking on Maryland.