Jordan Taylor, Eric Atkins, UW men's basketball vs. Notre Dame
Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor, left, drives around Notre Dame's Eric Atkins during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Old Spice Classic tournament in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Everything finally seemed to be going right for the University of Wisconsin men's basketball players in the Old Spice Classic championship game against Notre Dame on Sunday night.

But as it had been all week in this tournament that saw teams shoot horribly in nearly every game, nothing was as it seemed.

With the Badgers leading by 11 with 9 minutes, 21 seconds left, everything was falling into place. They were hitting 3s, grabbing rebounds and snagging loose balls. Then it all stopped.

UW scored three more times the rest of the way as Notre Dame's 26-7 run - which included 15 straight points in the final 4 minutes - led to a 58-51 loss for the Badgers.

"They were very aggressive with the ball and we needed to do a better job of stopping the ball. Their seniors have a lot of moxie," UW coach Bo Ryan said. "How can that many things happen sequentially? ... But I've been on the other side many times."

He was Friday, when the Badgers hit Boston College with a 26-2 run to pull away in the semifinals. But not this time.

"That's basketball," said senior forward Jon Leuer, an all-tourney selection who had 19 points and five rebounds Sunday.

Leuer was one of three Badgers who connected on consecutive 3-pointers during a 15-4 run that put UW up 43-32 with 9:21 left. "We had the stretch there where we got hot and then down in the end, we missed some of the same looks. It's something we're going to have to improve on.

"But it doesn't just come down to making shots. The hustle plays were big for us and that's an area we usually take pride in and we're the ones that get those."

The things Leuer was talking about were loose balls going to the Fighting Irish (7-0), when earlier those plays were coming out in favor of UW (4-2). And with both teams shooting less than 36 percent for the game, there were plenty of rebounds to be had, and Notre Dame won that battle 43-28. The Irish out-rebounded UW 13-6 on the offensive end.

The biggest offensive board came with 1:58 to play when Notre Dame's Scott Martin missed a free throw and tournament MVP Tim Abromaitis snuck around the box to snare the carom and hit an easy putback.

"Timmy's MVP is so deserving," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said of Abromaitis, who had 10 points and nine rebounds. "That's a veteran guy who's maybe not in a great groove offensively, but he's concentrating to get a putback that really did it for us."

Two trips later, UW point guard Jordan Taylor, who scored 14 points and had five assists, was stripped of the ball at the top of the key by Notre Dame's Ben Hansbrough, who raced to the other end for a layup during which he was fouled. Hansbrough hit the free throw to make it 56-48 with 19 seconds left to seal it.

"The strip at the end gets magnified because we're still right there if we scored," Ryan said. "The other team made the play."

WISCONSIN

min fg-a ft-a rb pf a to pt

Leuer 38 6-16 4-4 5 1 1 2 19

Bruesewitz 16 0-2 0-0 2 4 0 0 0

Nankivil 34 4-7 0-0 4 3 2 0 9

Taylor 38 6-19 0-0 4 5 5 1 14

Gasser 22 0-3 0-0 3 5 2 0 0

Brust 0+ 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 0 0

Evans 16 1-3 0-0 5 1 1 0 2

Jarmusz 21 1-4 0-0 1 1 1 0 3

Wilson 9 0-1 0-0 3 0 2 0 0

Berggren 6 2-2 0-0 1 1 0 1 4

Totals 20-57 4-4 28 22 14 4 51

NOTRE DAME

min fg-a ft-a rb pf a to pt

Nash 26 2-9 4-7 6 1 3 2 8

Abromaitis 36 3-11 4-4 9 2 0 2 10

Scott 38 4-8 2-2 7 3 0 2 12

Martin 27 1-4 4-5 7 0 1 0 6

Hansbrough 38 4-10 1-1 6 2 1 1 10

Atkins 28 3-6 5-6 3 0 2 2 12

Cooley 7 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 0 0

Totals 17-48 20-25 43 8 7 9 58

Totals include team rebounds and turnovers

Wisconsin 19 32 - 51

Notre Dame 22 36 - 58

3-point goals - W 7-23 (Leuer 3-7, Taylor 2-7, Nankivil 1-3, Jarmusz 1-4, Gasser 0-1, Wilson 0-1), ND 4-14 (Scott 2-5, Atkins 1-3, Hansbrough 1-4, Abromaitis 0-2). Field goal percentages - W .351, ND .354. Free throw percentages - W 1.000, ND .800. Steals - W 5 (Jarmusz 2, Nankivil 2, Leuer 1), ND 1 (Hansbrough 1). Blocked shots - W 5 (Nankivil 5), ND 3 (Scott 3). Att. - 3,428.

 

Bucky!

Subscribe to our BadgerBeat email!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.
0
0
0
0
0