(14) Wisconsin 61, Maryland 54: Last word

No. 14 Wisconsin overcame a sluggish start to the second half to hold on for a 61-54 win at Maryland Wednesday night.

Player of the Game: Micah Potter

The senior was fantastic on the offensive end of the floor scoring a season-high 23 points, while also grabbing 12 rebounds. Wisconsin had blown nearly its entire 18-point halftime lead when Potter returned to the court at the 9:28 mark after sitting for more than 5 minutes. With the Badgers up just 46-42, the big man immediately went to work and got an and-1 on his first possession. He followed that up with a pair of 3-pointers and all of a sudden Wisconsin was back up 15. Potter played just 23 minutes and the Badgers were 14 points better than the Terrapins with him on the floor.

The good: Improved defense

The last time Wisconsin faced Maryland the Terrapins shot 50% from the field, including 64% in the second half. That included scoring 38 points in the paint and getting pretty much anything they wanted around the basket. For the most part on Wednesday, the Badgers were much better. Maryland shot just 25% in the first half and 35.8% for the game, while scoring only 20 points in the paint. There were some lapses in the second half, but the Badgers got the stops they needed to get the win.

The not so good: Ugly stretches in the second half

Wisconsin saw its 18-point halftime lead get whittled down to just three points with 11:45 left as Maryland opened on a 20-5 run. Brad Davison was able to stop the bleeding with a 3-pointer before Potter returned and got the offense going again. But just as it seemed Wisconsin had the game in the bag, the offense went stagnant again as the Badgers went 6:17 without scoring. The stretch included three turnovers and five missed shots. However, they were able to overcome that with enough defense and four free throws in the final minute to get the win.

Stat of the Game: 12

That’s how many turnovers Wisconsin had in the game. It snapped a 34-game streak of having 11 turnovers or fewer that dated back to early January of last year. Maryland was able to turn those turnovers into just five points.

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In Case You Missed It

— The home team normally wears white, but Maryland decided to go with its red uniforms against the Badgers. That allowed Wisconsin to wear its white alternate uniforms and the Badgers improved to 5-1 in them.

— It’s now been a year since Wisconsin lost back-to-back games and the Badgers improved to 5-0 over the last two seasons in games against teams that beat them earlier in the year.

— D’Mitrik Trice has now scored in double figures in nine straight games. He finished with 13 points and a season-high eight rebounds. He also passed Michael Finley on Wisconsin’s all-time list for career assists and 3-pointers.

What’s next?

Wisconsin (13-4, 7-3) will stay on the road and head to Penn State (5-7, 2-6) to face the Nittany Lions on Saturday.