Maryland 73, Wisconsin 55: Last word
Maryland used a 27-13 run at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second to build a double-digit lead and never looked back in a 73-55 win over Wisconsin on Wednesday night.
Wisconsin Player of the Game: Connor Essegian
The freshman provided much of Wisconsin’s offense on the night, tying a career-high with 17 points. He did most of his damage from deep, going 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. It was his fifth straight game in double figures and he’s now shooting 45.2% on 3-pointers. That figure would put in him the top-10 in the country if he had enough attempts to qualify.
The good: The first half offense
Wisconsin got off to a solid start offensively, going bucket-for-bucket with Maryland through the first 15 minutes of the game. Essegian was a big part of it, as he had nine of his points in that stretch. For the half, they shot 47.8% from the field and 55% from beyond the arc.
It didn’t last, though, as they had just five points in the final six minutes of the half and had six turnovers overall. They took care of the ball better after halftime, but it didn’t matter when shots stopped falling and the game turned into a blowout.
The not so good: The defense
Maryland came out firing and Wisconsin was not up for the challenge. Four different players scored in double figures led by Jahmir Young’s 22 points. As a team, they shot 56% for the game, in large part because they owned the paint, outscoring the Badgers 38-22 inside. Maryland went 13-for-18 on layups and had three dunks as Wisconsin’s interior defense failed to put up much resistance.
Stats of the Game:
3 — That is how many shots Chucky Hepburn took on the night. It was three less than he’s taken in any game this year and tied for the fewest he’s taken in a game in his career. He made one of them Wednesday and ended the night with just three points.
12.3 — That is the margin of defeat in Wisconsin’s last four Big Ten road games. The Badgers lost by 10 at Illinois, 18 at Indiana, three at Northwestern and by 18 to Maryland. The four losses are already double what they had in last year’s run to the conference title.
In Case You Missed It
— Wisconsin played without senior Max Klesmit for a second straight game due to what the team was calling an upper-body injury. The guard went out early in the win over Penn State last week after getting elbowed in the face. Blood gushed from his mouth and he ended up needing stiches. He did not travel with the team to Northwestern or Maryland.
— The loss dropped Wisconsin into a three-way tie for ninth place in the Big Ten and left the team just one game out of 12th place.
Wisconsin (12-7, 4-5) will come home to face Illinois (14-6, 5-4) on Saturday.