Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Wisconsin edges Maryland behind defense, free-throw shooting

No. 2 Michigan State wins 13th in row beats Wisconsin 63-60 Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Melinda Barton | 03 March, 2018, 04:28

The Badgers were knocked out in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament against the number-1 team in the league.

The Badgers said that they were looking forward to a rematch in NY, and after holding off Maryland on Thursday, that's exactly what they'll get.

While Michigan State is locked into a high NCAA Tournament seed, Wisconsin needs to win the Big Ten Tournament to get into the field.

Unlike the first half, the second period featured spurts by both squads.

The No. 2 Michigan State Spartans came up big on the defensive end down the stretch and avoided being an upset victim by holding onto a narrow 63-60 victory quarterfinal win in the Big Ten Tournament over the Wisconsin Badgers at Madison Square Garden on Friday afternoon.

"I just tell myself to relax", Happ said.

"How they've grown over the last month has been fun to watch, and hopefully we've got a lot more basketball yet to play", Gard said. But like some of my equipment men and guys like that said to me: "'When has it been any different with Wisconsin?'"

Huerter had 20 points to lead Maryland.

Michigan: The Wolverines lost their only meeting with Nebraska this season, 72-52 in Lincoln. The last two have been tough. "I still think we need to do a better job of putting ourselves in positions to try and win those games when we can kind of spread that lead out and get a comfortable lead".

Just like in the Spartans and Badgers' last meeting on February 25, in which MSU narrowly escaped Madison with a five-point victory, Wisconsin gave the No. 2 team in the nation all it could handle on Friday.

Matt McQuaid subsequently buried a three from the left wing that could have all but ended the contest with 1:29 to go and a 63-58 Spartan lead. "We want to keep getting better as a team". Wisconsin was 6 of 17 from long distance and attempted six free throws. That stretch was compounded when Davison, a flawless foil for Spartans point man Cassius Winston, got slapped with his second foul - both came while he was trying to draw a charge - with 3:45 left in the period. Alexis Sevillian, who had all nine of her points in the fourth, answered with a clutch 3-pointer and Northwestern missed its last five shots to finish the game at 27 percent. They had a chance to tie the game with a pair of free throws, but Kevin Huerter missed the front end.

It paid off when, after a timeout, Pritzl took a pass from Davison and drained an 18-foot jumper from the top of the key to give the Badgers the lead for good.

In the five games since his return before Thursday, Cekovsky was averaging 4.5 points and a shade under three rebounds.

A layup by Wisconsin freshman Khalil Iverson brought the Badgers to within two points of the Spartans, and made the score 60-58, with just under three minutes left.

A rebound follow by Jackson and Iverson's basket inside and missed free throw set up the tense final minutes. Winston and Bridges scored 11 points apiece before the break. Freshman forward Nate Reuvers took most of his minutes, and an open two-handed dunk stretched UW's lead to three with 3:52 left in the half. MI made it to Washington for the tournament and proceeded to rip off four victories as an eight seed to secure an automatic NCAA bid.