Anthony Cowan Jr. led Maryland to a 68-63 victory over Wisconsin, handing the Badgers their fifth straight loss. Wisconsin’s record falls to 10-15, 3-9 in the Big Ten.
With five seconds remaining in the game following Cowan Jr. free throws that put Maryland up three, Brad Davison made a questionable decision to drive the lane instead of looking for a three-point shot to send the game into overtime. Davison was met at the rim by Don Wiley who blocked his layup attempt, ending the game.
Wisconsin mounted a nice second half comeback, making it close when it seemed like Maryland could run away with the game at the end of the first half. With a 62-62 tie, Kevin Huerter hit consecutive buckets to give Maryland the lead for good.
It was an encouraging sign for Badger fans to watch the freshman (Davison, Ford, and Reuvers) step up and compete against a better team on the road and look like an improved team, however, another close loss is still hard to swallow for Wisconsin.
The Badgers started out fast against Maryland, hitting three three-pointers in the opening minutes. Aleem Ford, reinserted into the starting lineup for Brevin Pritzl, got things started by hitting a corner three. Maryland crashed hard on every Ethan Happ post touch, and Happ was successful passing out of the double teams. Happ found Khalil Iverson for two easy slams. Greg Gard’s squad assisted seven of their first eight field goals. Wisconsin played solid defense to open up with Maryland starting out 1/7.
Wisconsin led for most of the half, but Maryland got going as the half went on. Down 18-11 at one point, Maryland reclaimed the lead 22-21 after a Huerter bucket, giving the Terrapins their first lead since the opening minute of the game. Anthony Cowan Jr. led them on a 17-2 run to close out the half. Maryland scored 24 points in the paint in the first half, with 12 of 14 field goals coming in the paint. The run at the end of the half was capped off with Pritzl passing the ball right to Cowan Jr. who strolled in for an easy fastbreak layup giving Maryland a 33-23 lead at halftime.
The Badgers punished Maryland inside in the second half. Happ started out the second half strong, scoring the first three Badger buckets from close range. The freshman trio of Brad Davison, Aleem Ford, and Nate Reuvers scored six straight baskets as the Badgers mounted a comeback. Aleem Ford hit his third three of the game to tie the game up at 42-42. Davison hit a stepback jumper to take the lead moments later.
The game carried on at a slow pace beneficial to Wisconsin and the two teams went back and forth trading buckets. Maryland started to pull away with Cowan leading the way. Cowan hit a three to take a one point lead. Possessions later, Cowan pulled up from midrange to increase the lead to five. The Badgers quickly tied the game up after Reuvers, who showed flashes of brilliance all afternoon, made a nice move and tough finish. Iverson stole the ensuing inbounds pass leading to another Ford three to tie the game up with a couple of minutes remaining.
That was as close as the Badgers would get, however, before Maryland iced the game to give Wisconsin its eighth loss in nine games. Cowan Jr. led all scorers with 23 points and Huerter added another 19 for Maryland. The Badgers had four players in double-figures: Happ (18), Reuvers (13), Ford (12) and Davison (12). The Wisconsin bench was held scoreless.
Up next, the Badgers play at Illinois on Thursday.