Men's basketball\

Badgers pull away late against Maryland with lockdown defense, big-time shots

Senior forward Ethan Happ had 18 points and 11 rebounds as Wisconsin staged a second-half comeback to extend its winning streak to five games.

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

All it took was a foul for No. 21 Maryland (8-4 Big Ten, 17-6 overall) to unravel.

With the No. 24 Badgers (8-3, 16-6) trailing by five early in the second half, Terps star big man Bruno Fernando rammed into sophomore forward Nate Reuvers under the basket, earning a charge and his third foul of the game.

He went to the bench, and Maryland suffered.

Fernando’s departure helped the Badgers complete a 7-0 run, tying the game for the first time since the first half and staking their claim in a game in which they led for just 16 seconds of the first 34 minutes. 

By the game’s end, the Badgers had staged an impressive comeback, pulling away 69-61 in a game that had initially eluded them.

Maryland shot 60 percent from behind the arc in the first period against a stingy Wisconsin defense that had allowed just 48 points per contest in its last four games. That included 13 points from Eric Ayala, who continually made and took tough shots, sapping the life out of the Kohl Center.

The Terrapins' prolific shooting didn’t stick in the second half as the Badgers made the game the slugfest they wanted from the jump. Maryland shot just 34.5 percent from the field, and Wisconsin made the big shots it was missing in the first half.

After shooting just three of eight from deep in the first half, the Badgers went six of 10 from beyond the arc in the second. Sophomore guard Brad Davison nailed a trio of threes on his way to a game-high 21 points, and sophomore forward Aleem Ford made a pair, exorcising his demons after going three games without a three-pointer.

Happ won the battle against Fernando by the game’s end, finishing with 18 points and 11 rebounds. He gave the Badgers breathing room with 3:50 remaining, hitting a layup on Fernando while falling to the ground after being fouled.

The foul was Fernando’s fourth foul of the game, and one that Maryland couldn’t — this time — recover from.

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