College Park, MD—What started as a basketball challenge between two powerhouse conferences, ended up with the Wisconsin men's basketball team falling just short of a come-from-behind victory against the Maryland Terrapins in the fifth ACC-Big Ten Challenge Tuesday night. Backed by 20 second-half points from junior Devin Harris, the fifteenth-ranked Badgers (3-1) overcame an eight-point deficit at halftime to rally against the 25th-ranked Terps (4-0), only to fall 73-67 in overtime. It is the second time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge that the Badgers and Terps went into extra minutes. In 2000 Wisconsin edged Maryland 78-75 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
Maryland's Jamar Smith, who led all players with 25 points and 12 rebounds, scored six points in the overtime period to take over the game from Harris, who was held scoreless in final five minutes, after nailing five shots from behind the arc during the second half. It was Smith though who opened up the extra period scoring to put Maryland up 63-61, and then to break up a 65-all tie. Smith put the icing on the cake when he sunk two free throws with 40 seconds left to increase the Maryland lead to 70-65, making it a two-possession game for Wisconsin, and one it would not come back from. Harris would finish the game with 24 points, seven assists, and three turnovers.
The Badgers shot 3 of 7 in the overtime period, including scoreless from three-point range and the foul line, ending the game 36 percent from the field.
"When you're playing from behind, (you take) some shots at the end trying to catch up," said Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, whose team committed a season-high 14 turnovers. "When you're on the road, in that kind of situation, that's not good, so you're not going to get the better shots."
While the shots in overtime weren't falling the way the Badgers had hoped, they were lucky to be in the situation at all. After shooting 30 percent from the field in the first half and turning the ball over nine times leading to 10 Maryland points, Wisconsin found it's rhythm on Harris' shoulders to turn it into a possession-by-possession game in the second half. After a Harris three-pointer with 12:36 to play, Zach Morley, who added nine points, put the Badgers up 43-42 to take a lead that would change four more times before the buzzer sounded at the end of regulation.
It appeared that Wisconsin's doom would come on a failed three-point play by Harris—not from behind the arc, but rather from the free throw line. With two and a half minutes to play, and down 57-50, Harris failed to convert on two of three free-throw attempts after being fouled by Nic Caner-Medley. However, Harris would hit his next two charity shots, and add one more three-pointer in a minute's time to pull the Badgers within three at 59-56. Two free throws by Mike Wilkinson made it a one-point game with 26 seconds left. After fouling Smith, who only converted on the first of two free throw attempts, it became a two-point game with 21.4 seconds left at 60-58. After a Badger timeout, Wilkinson nailed a three-pointer to put the Badgers up 61-60 with 12.5 seconds to play.
Wisconsin did not hold on to its lead long, though. On the next possession, Caner-Medley was fouled by Morley while coming down with a rebound. The Maryland forward made the backend of his free throws to send the game into overtime and Wisconsin to its first loss of the season.
Score by half
Wisconsin - (Field goals-Free Throws-Points) - Devin Harris (7-5-24), Mike Wilkinson (3-6-14), Zach Morley (4-0-9), Freddie Owens (3-1-8), Boo Wade (4-0-8), Clayton Hanson (1-0-3), Andreas Helmigk (0-1-1). Totals: 22-13-67.
Maryland - (Field goals-Free Throws-Points) - Jamar Smith (10-4-25), Chris McCray (6-3-16), John Gilchrist (5-2-12), Nik Caner-Medley (3-1-7), Travis Garrison (3-0-6), Ekene Ibekwe (2-0-4), D.J. Strawberry (1-1-3). Totals: 30-11-73.
Three point goals - Wisconsin 10 (Harris 5, Wilkinson 2, Hanson, Morley, Owens), Maryland 2 (Smith, McCray).
Rebounds - Wisconsin 40 (Wilkinson 9), Maryland 41 (Smith 12).
Assists - Wisconsin 17 (Harris 7), Maryland 12 (Gilchrist 9). Turnovers - Wisconsin 14 (Wilkinson 4), Maryland 11 (Smith 5).
Blocks - Wisconsin 3 (Morley 2), Maryland 10 (Caner-Medley 4). Steals - Wisconsin 5 (Wilkinson 2), Maryland 12 (Strawberry 4). Fouls - Wisconsin 20, Maryland 20.
Points - in the paint: Wisconsin 22, Maryland 40. - Off turnovers: Wisconsin 11, Maryland 14. - Fast break: Wisconsin 2, Maryland 8. - Bench: Wisconsin 13, Maryland 7. - Second chance: Wisconsin 8, Maryland 17.