After two 30-point blowouts to open the season, the Wisconsin men’s basketball team (2-1) used just about every possession to decide its third game of the year against the No. 15 Xavier Musketeers (3-0). In a hotly contested affair, the Musketeers ultimately pulled away from the fresh-faced Badgers to win 80-70.
Each half was a tale of two halves for the Badgers. They fell behind the high-powered XU offense early in the first period, trailing by as much as nine with 6:24 to go in the period. But freshman reserve guard Brad Davison came into the game and immediately ignited the UW offense. Davison nabbed four steals and scored 11 first-half points to help UW close the frame on a 9-0 run that was punctuated by a 3-pointer from redshirt freshman forward Aleem Ford to knot the game at 34.
The early portion of the second half presented similar challenges for the Badgers. Led by J.P. Macura, who accumulated 20 points on 10-of-15 shooting, the Musketeers had a seven-point lead with 6:25 to go. But again, like clockwork, the young Badgers started to put all the pieces together and quickly went on an 8-1 run to tie the game up at 64 with 4:01 to play, again after a three from Ford.
It was in the midst of that run that redshirt junior forward Ethan Happ picked up his 1,000th career point, joining 43 others to reach that milestone for UW.
Sophomore guard D’Mitrik Trice hit a deep jumper to put the Badgers ahead by two, but XU superstar Trevon Bluiett quickly answered with a pair of free throws and the Musketeers wouldn’t let go from there.
Happ led the charge for UW with 21 points and a career-high eight assists, along with four rebounds.
Davison was remarkable in his third game off the pine for the Badgers, finishing with 12 points and four steals in a career-high 28 minutes, but it wasn’t enough to upend Xavier.
Check back later at dailycardinal.com/section/sports for the full story from the Badgers’ loss.