Badgers Bemoan Missed Opportunities In Marquette Loss

Badgers Bemoan Missed Opportunities In Marquette Loss

Basketball

Badgers Bemoan Missed Opportunities In Marquette Loss

MILWAUKEE – The final box score tells two vastly different stories for the University of Wisconsin.

The Badgers shot 50 percent from the field, got a career-high 34 points from Ethan Happ, held Marquette to 35.5 percent shooting on its swanky new home court and made star guard Markus Howard take 29 shots to score his 27 points.

But the main story that comes from the Badgers’ 74-69 overtime loss to the Golden Eagles in front of a bipartisan 17,515 sellout crowd of boils down to Wisconsin didn’t cash in on the simple opportunities that were presented to them in the second half or overtime.

UW (8-2) went 5-for-24 from 3-point range, gave up 14 second-chance points on 14 offensive rebounds and, likely the most appalling of them all, missed a season-high 11 free throws in a 10-for-21 performance from the line.

“We had several chances, but we didn’t play well enough,” head coach Greg Gard said. “Several things were self-inflicted … The effort was there, but we have to continue to improve in some of the intangible things and some of the things that are controllable.”

While Marquette (8-2) struggled to contain Happ, the Golden Eagles succeed in pressuring D’Mitrik Trice and taking away his right hand, which had him making 60 percent of his 3-point shots. The result was a 3-for-8 shooting night, including 1-for-6 from 3-point range, and 10 points.

Trice wasn’t alone, as five players missed multiple 3-point shots and five more missed free throws. Spending the last 5:36 of the second half in the bonus, UW went 3-for-6, all misses by 90.5 percent free throw shooter Brad Davison, including the front end of the bonus.

“We have to be able to overcome that,” Gard said.

Others also couldn’t shake the shooting woes. Nate Reuvers (11 points) six shots and five 3-pointers, U W’s bench – averaging 18.3 ppg – scored only 10 points, none after halftime and Davison, in addition to the missed free throws, missed all three 3-point attempts and was whistled for a flagrant-1 foul in overtime for hitting Marquette forward Joey Hauser below the waist fighting through a screen.

Take out Happ’s 16-for-21 from the field, his teammates shot 11-for-33.

“I think we know we didn’t play our best,” Happ said. “You can see it in the stats the way shots weren’t falling … We did too many things of our problems that shot ourselves in the foot.”

UW was fourth in the NCAA averaging 8.8 turnovers per game but committed four in its first five possessions. The Badgers finished with 13 but none bigger than Trice’s mistake on his final possession of regulation.

Attempting a shot with just over 30 seconds left a step inside the perimeter, Trice saw a charging defender enter his vision as he started to elevate. Instead of attempting the shot, Trice tried to hit Happ cutting to the basket. The problem was Happ crashed the glass and never looked, causing the pass to go out of bounds.

The Badgers still made it to overtime when Howard missed a shot in the paint at the buzzer, but it was just another example of several opportunities missed that could have given UW another booming regulation victory.

“When you are in a game like that, a highly competitive game,” Gard said, “that’s the difference from having a happy locker room and an unhappy locker room.”

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