The University of Wisconsin Men’s Basketball team is 0-1 for just the second time in the last 18 seasons. The Badgers lost to the 20th ranked Saint Mary’s Gaels, 65-63, in overtime tonight in South Dakota.
Wisconsin had a chance to win in regulation. After trailing by nine with 8:00 left, UW tied the game. They got a big defensive stop with 23 seconds left and the game tied at 54, but a shaky final possession ended with Aleem Ford chucking up a desperation 3-point attempt that didn’t fall.
In overtime, Wisconsin led 63-60 when they bailed Saint Mary’s out with a foul with only three seconds on the shot clock with 1:38 remaining. Malik Fitts made both free throws to cut it to 63-62, then Kobe King dribbled the ball of his leg on the other end. The Gaels capitalized when Fitts finding enough room inside for a layup and a 64-63 lead with 59 seconds left.
On the next UW possession, Nate Reuvers got a good look on an elbow jumper, but it didn’t go. Greg Gard decided to let it play out with a five second difference between the game and shot clock. The Badgers forced a missed shot but allowed Saint Mary’s to get an offensive rebound, one of the Gaels’ 13 on the night. Kyle Bowen split the free throws to make it a 65-63 lead for SMC, before Aleem Ford missed a desperation three at the buzzer.
Wisconsin was led by Nate Reuvers’ 22 points, tied for his career high. He added six rebounds and four blocks. Brad Davison added 16 points and D’Mitrik Trice had 10.
The Gaels were led by Jordan Ford’s 26 points, though he scored just two points over the final 16:41 of the game. Fitts posted 16 points, including seven of SMC’s 11 points in overtime.
Saint Mary’s is a really good team and the Badgers missed on an opportunity for a resume builder whether it’s for seeding or getting into the tournament.
Wisconsin will have the home opener at the Kohl Center on Friday night against Eastern Illinois. Tip-off is set for 7:00 pm (CT) and will be aired on BTN+.