Wisconsin built a 20-point halftime lead Tuesday and then held on to beat No. 12 Houston 65-63 in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational in Las Vegas.
The Badgers jumped out to their big lead behind some hot shooting, especially from beyond the arc. Wisconsin was 7-for-15 on 3-pointers in the first half, including 4-for-5 from sophomore Jonathan Davis. He finished the half with 18 points on 7 of 11 shooting and he added two rebounds, two blocks and a couple of steals.
The Badgers are letting it ride to the @MauiInv championship game!
But the second half was almost all Houston. The Cougars cut the lead in half before the first TV timeout and had it down to three with 4:44 left. To that point, Davis had just two points in the second half. But he would keep the Badgers up, scoring eight of the final 10 points, including a great steal and dunk. Still, the game wasn’t over until the Cougars collected a miss by Davis in the final seconds and rushed it up court down two points but were unable to get a shot off.
Davis finished with a career-high 30 points a day after setting a career-high by scoring 21. He added four steals and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.
Wisconsin also got nine straight points from junior Tyler Wahl to help the Badgers maintain their lead midway through the second half. Wahl also had a team-high seven rebounds.