Gasser’s timely threes prove pivotal

Marquette did a tremendous job of shutting down a talented Wisconsin roster. The Badgers had only two players score in double figures: Frank Kaminsky and Josh Gasser. Although Kaminsky led the team with 15 points, Gasser was the player of the game for Wisconsin.

Gasser’s numbers weren’t gaudy -- he scored 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting with four rebounds and three assists -- but timely. Each of Gasser’s four 3-pointers halted four Marquette runs and spoiled any possibility of an upset of the No.2 Badgers.

The first two “stare downs,” as Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan called them, came on consecutive shots in the first half. Trailing 17-7, Marquette rallied with a 6-0 run over the 8:25 and 6:25 marks in the first half to trim the lead to 17-13. After a two-minute stretch in which neither team scored a basket, Gasser took the lid off the basket with consecutive threes within 28 seconds of each other to extend Wisconsin’s lead back to 10 points.

Gasser’s next shot to the heart occurred early in the second half. Marquette started the second stanza off strong, scoring seven consecutive points to fight out of a 25-15 halftime deficit. Wisconsin’s ensuing possession lasted 51 seconds thanks to three offensive rebounds by Nigel Hayes, Frank Kaminsky and Bronson Koenig. After the Koenig rebound, the ball was kicked out to Gasser, who finished the lengthy possession with another three that put Wisconsin up by six.

The final dagger came after Marquette’s most threatening run of the afternoon. The Golden Eagles trimmed the deficit to just two points with less than nine minutes to go. After a Matt Carlino foul in the backcourt, Kaminsky found Gasser wide open on the baseline for his final three of the day. These were the first points of a 9-0 run that secured the victory for the top-ranked Badgers.

Ryan said in the postgame press conference that his redshirt senior never gets cheated. However, Gasser did cheat Marquette out of a monumental upset thanks to four timely shots.


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