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Big second half gets Badgers to semifinals

Wisconsin’s Ben Brust, who scores 11 of his 14 points during the second half, celebrates late in a 68-59 win against Michigan.

Associated Press

Wisconsin’s Ben Brust, who scores 11 of his 14 points during the second half, celebrates late in a 68-59 win against Michigan.

CHICAGO — Ben Brust scored 11 of his 14 during the second half and No. 22 Wisconsin beat No. 6 Michigan 68-59 at the Big Ten tournament Friday.

"Just a great team effort," said coach Bo Ryan, whose No. 4-seeded team faces Indiana today. "Guys picked each other up. They didn't get frustrated when the shots weren't going down in the first half."

Trey Burke had 19 points and seven assists for No. 5-seeded Michigan. But the Big Ten player of the year was 8-of-22 from the field. Tim Hardaway Jr. shook off an ankle injury in the first half and finished with 14 points and nine rebounds.

The contrasting styles of the high-scoring Wolverines (26-7) and defensive-minded Badgers (22-10) were on full display during a first half that featured almost as many turnovers (14) as field goals (15) and ended with Michigan up 20-17.

Wisconsin warmed up in the second half with a 10-0 run, including Brust's 3-pointer, to take a 29-24 lead. Michigan rallied, but Wisconsin answered each time. And the Badgers had different players step up.

Burst and Mike Bruesewitz made 3-pointers. Ryan Evans wriggled free for a layup and a jumper to make it 49-42. And Brust tacked on a 3 from the corner to extend the lead to 11.

The Wolverines put together a 9-0 run to get within 56-54, but Frank Kaminsky made a pull-up jumper as the final seconds of the shot clock ticked off.

"We had some chances to take the game back over and get back in front, and we just couldn't do it," Wolverines coach John Beilein said. "A lot of that has to do with how we develop as a team, and a lot has to do with how talented a team Wisconsin really is."

No. 3 Indiana 80, Illinois 64: Cody Zeller had 24 points and nine rebounds for the top-seeded Hoosiers. "They were double-teaming, so I was trying to find the open man," Zeller said. "But even if I don't score, it opens up a lot of things for our shooters on the outside. I thought we did a nice job of that, and it opened up a lot." The No. 8 seeded Illini (22-12), down by as many as 17 during the first half, cut it to 60-52 with 8:17 left and had the ball. But Tracy Abrams missed a 3-pointer. Jordan Hulls then whipped a pass to Victor Oladipo (12 points, 11 rebounds) underneath for a layup. After D.J. Richardson missed a 3-pointer for Illinois, the Hoosiers (27-5) struck again. This time, Christian Watford hit a 3 to make it 65-52 with 5:31 left. "Some shots just have to fall, said Illinois' Brandon Paul, whose team was coming off a buzzer-beating win over Minnesota. "They fell (Thursday). They didn't fall today. That's just something that happens."

No. 10 Ohio St. 71, Nebraska 50: DeShaun Thomas and Chicago native Sam Thompson each scored 19 for the No. 2 seeded Buckeyes. Ohio State (24-7), which faces No. 8 Michigan State, blew it open with a 30-5 run spanning halftime. LaQuinton Ross made three consecutive 3-pointers. Thompson had a 3-pointer and two dunks. Thomas capped the run with a reverse dunk that left No. 10 seeded Nebraska (15-18) down 54-28. "Once we focused in and got our minds where they needed to be, we were very effective," Buckeyes coach Thad Matta said, "especially with the defense." Nebraska committed 15 turnovers that led to 21 Ohio State points. Said Cornhuskers forward Brandon Ubel: "We … let that pressure get to us a little bit."

No. 8 Michigan St. 59, Iowa 56: Adreian Payne had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the No. 3-seeded Spartans, who trailed the No. 6-seeded Hawkeyes by 12 midway through the second half. Gary Harris made a go-ahead 3-pointer for the Spartans with 4:10 left, part of a 22-2 run that gave them the lead for the first time. "They came out with more energy," Michigan State's Keith Appling said. "They got all the 50-50 balls. But in the second half, we picked it up, changed our mind-set."

Big second half gets Badgers to semifinals 03/15/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 16, 2013 12:37am]
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