The No. 23 Wisconsin Badgers (13-2, 4-1 B1G) nearly blow a 21-point first half lead, but escape College Park with a 70-69 win over the Maryland Terrapins (8-7, 0-4 B1G) inside the Xfinity Center.
Easy is … well, you know, boring.
It was a great start on both ends of the court for UW as they built a 29-8 lead, but then they couldn’t stop Maryland on the defensive end and struggled to generate much offense.
This Badgers group has a knack for winning these close ones. This was not a pretty game, but it doesn’t have to be pretty. This team has grit and found a way.
It was a big time night for Tyler Wahl as he scored a career-high 21 points and the Badgers needed every single one of them. Wahl also had five rebounds, two assists and a block.
I thought Maryland did a pretty good job of now allowing Johnny Davis to beat them and Davis still scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds, but he did have three turnovers.
Tonight was the first time all season where I saw Davis force shots and get visibly frustrated offensively, but Davison and especially Wahl kept the Badgers afloat.
Leading 70-69 with 3.9 seconds remaining, Brad Davison went to the line for two free throws. Davison missed the first before head coach Greg Gard called a timeout. Gard instructed Davison to intentionally miss the second free throw, which Davison did just that, and it was perfect.
Davison finished with 11 points and hit a couple big buckets and free throws down the stretch.
A 3-0 week for the Badgers, including two on the road. Not bad.
The Badgers will welcome the No. 13 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-3, 4-1 B1G) to the Kohl Center on Thursday, January 13th. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 PM (Central Time) and will be nationally televised on ESPN2.