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Wisconsin Badgers escape with 73-67 overtime win at Ohio State after Buckeyes’ furious second-half rally

March 10, 2019

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Had any of three results over the previous two days gone the other way, the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team would have arrived at Value City Arena Sunday knowing they’d already secured a double bye in the Big Ten tournament.

Instead, the Badgers had to take care of business on their own.

They did it – the hard way.

Senior forward Khalil Iverson registered career highs with 22 points and 14 rebounds to help UW outlast Ohio State 73-67 in overtime.

Senior center Ethan Happ added 16 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists as the Badgers (22-9, 14-6 Big Ten) clinched the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten tournament. UW will play either Maryland, Rutgers or Nebraska in a quarterfinal on Friday.

Maryland’s win over Minnesota on Friday night kept the Terrapins in the hunt for the No. 4 seed. Victories by Purdue over Northwestern and Michigan State over Michigan on Saturday helped Maryland’s cause and forced UW to win if it was going to hold off the Terrapins for sole possession of fourth place.

Getting to that point wasn’t easy, however. The Badgers blew a 23-point lead in the second half and had to do something they hadn’t done in three previous tries this season: win an overtime game.

Senior C.J. Jackson scored 22 points for Ohio State (18-13, 8-12), which overcame a 22-point deficit over the final 7:43.

Iverson scored on back-to-back possessions in the extra session to give UW a 67-64 lead.

Happ went 2 of 4 from the line over two possession to stretch that lead to 69-65 with 43.8 seconds left. Sophomore guard Brad Davison, who finished with 14 points, followed a basket by Keyshawn Woods with two free throws that gave the Badgers a 71-67 lead with 25.9 seconds remaining.

After Woods airballed a 3-pointer, UW sophomore point guard D’Mitrik Trice made two free throws with 12.9 seconds left for the final points of the game.

The Badgers broke the game open – or so it seemed – with an 18-5 run to start the second half.

Their offense, which struggled in the first half, came to life after halftime.

UW opened the half with 18 points in its first seven possessions. The Badgers attacked the paint to start the surge, with Happ completing a three-point play and Iverson adding two baskets. That opened up the perimeter, and Trice sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around one by Davison, all off feeds from Happ.

Iverson ended the run with a reverse layup that gave the Badgers a 44-21 lead with 16:05 remaining.

UW led 58-36 after Davison scored with 7:14 left. Then everything went haywire for the Badgers, who were sloppy with the ball and couldn’t stop the Buckeyes on the other end.

Ohio State made three 3-pointers during an 11-0 run that helped it pull to within 58-47 with 4:58 left.

Iverson momentarily stopped the bleeding with a pair of free throws, and Happ scored the next trip down the floor to give the Badgers a 62-47 lead with 3:57 left.

But Ohio State kept coming. A 14-1 run that included a pair of 3-pointers cut UW’s lead to 63-61 with 1:21 left.

Jackson tied it with 36.6 seconds left, and Happ was called for a foul that gave Ohio State the ball with 29.6 seconds remaining.

Jackson airballed a 3-pointer, giving UW the ball with 1.3 seconds remaining. But Woods picked off Happ’s inbound pass and missed a heave from halfcourt as the buzzer sounded.

UW led 26-16 at the half despite shooting 36 percent overall and going 2 of 10 from 3-point range. Iverson provided a spark with 10 points and seven rebounds in the opening 20 minutes.

Ohio State missed its first 11 shots from the field and finished the half at 21 percent (6 of 29). The Buckeyes averaged 0.53 points per possession in the half.

The Badgers grabbed control with a 7-0 run after Ohio State had tied it at 10. Iverson sandwiched a pair of baskets – including an emphatic dunk off a feed from Davison – around a 3-pointer from Davison to put UW in front 17-10 with 7:15 left until halftime.

This story will be updated.