Rutgers 58, Wisconsin 57: Last word
MADISON — Cam Spencer scored 22 points to help Rutgers past Wisconsin 58-57 on Saturday at the Kohl Center.
Wisconsin Player of the Game: Jordan Davis
With brother Johnny watching from the stands, Jordan Davis provided a huge lift off the bench for Wisconsin, especially in the first half. He had 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers. The junior hit one more 3-pointer in the second half and finished with 14 points, just one shy of his career-high.
The good: Kamari McGee
Davis wasn’t the only one to provide a spark among the reserves. For a second straight game, McGee set a season-high in minutes (23) and points (9). He hit three of Wisconsin’s 12 3-pointers, including the Badgers last bucket of the game with 3:36 left to give them a 57-54 lead. McGee’s day was needed with starting point guard Chucky Hepburn dealing with foul trouble much of the game.
The not so good: Offensive lulls
Wisconsin didn’t have a repeat of going 10:45 without making a shot like it did against Michigan on Tuesday, but the Badgers had significant lulls in the second half that cost them. They went 6:26 without scoring that saw Rutgers turn a 45-43 deficit into a 50-45 lead. After hitting four 3-pointers to take a three-point lead, Greg Gard’s team missed its final five shots of the game and didn’t score in the final 3:36.
Stats of the Game:
36 — That is how many 3-pointers Wisconsin shot in the game. It was the most in a Big Ten game in school history. It included 22 attempts in the second half, which was also a school record in a conference game.
0 — That is how many shots Connor Essegian made in the game. The talented true freshman went 0-for-10 from the field, including 0-for-7 from beyond the arc. The Badgers went to Essegian on their final possession and needing a bucket to win, but the guard missed a runner in the lane and then had his last-second 3-pointer blocked.
In Case You Missed It
— Wisconsin welcomed back a host of former players and recognized them during halftime. Among those returning included Zak Showalter, Josh Gasser, Charlie Wills and Zach Morley. Johnny Davis also served as the honorary captain and was introduced before the game.
— Rutgers played without reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Caleb McConnell. He was a late scratch due to a back injury.
— Hepburn scored six points and has now scored in single digits in back-to-back games for the first time since a three-game streak at the beginning of the season.
— Tyler Wahl was effective in a limited offensive role, making three of the five shots he took. But he did dish out six assists and is now averaging 4.6 assists per game in the last five contests.
Wisconsin (15-11, 7-9) will host Iowa (17-9, 9-6) on Wednesday night at the Kohl Center.