Feb. 9, 2013
BY BRIAN MASON
UW Athletic Communications
STAR OF THE GAME
Ben Brust told anyone who would listen that Saturday’s thrilling 65-62 overtime win over No. 3 Michigan was a great team victory. His Wisconsin teammates were less inclined to deflect the credit away from Brust, who hit the big shots to lift the Badgers into overtime and eventually secure their sixth win in seven tries against top-five teams at the Kohl Center.
Brust finished with a team-high 14 points by going 3-for-4 from the 3-point range after halftime. None was bigger than the 40-foot heave he splashed as the horn sounded at the end of regulation. The remarkable triple forced overtime, where Brust again stepped up to deliver for the Badgers by canning another trey to secure the win.
PLAY OF THE GAME
It will forever be overshadowed by Brust’s buzzer-beater, but Jared Berggren’s emphatic slam 30 seconds earlier would lead the highlight reel in any other game (not to mention the fact that the bucket gave Brust the chance to tie things with a trey).
With the Badgers trailing by three and the final minute ticking away, Traevon Jackson found himself cut off heading to the baseline and kicked a pass back to Berggren at the elbow. He got a step on Michigan’s Mitch McGary and beat him on a curl into the lane, launching for a thunderous one-handed dunk. Trey Burke, who slid over to provide some help defense, was no obstacle for Berggren, who threw down and drew a foul on Burke in the process.
In finishing off the three-point play at the free throw line, Berggren tied things up at 57-57 with 30 seconds remaining.
TURNING POINT OF THE GAME
Again, it’s Brust. Though much less dramatic than his shot at the end of regulation, the one he hit with 39 seconds left in overtime was just as key to the Badgers’ victory. And, although it was much closer to the rim, it may have been just as difficult of a look. After missing a contested layup, Brust hustled for a steal, tapping the ball out of bounds off Michigan’s Nik Stauskas after the Wolverine initially grabbed the rebound.
Once the Badgers got the ball in bounds, Brust took a handoff at the top of the key from Mike Bruesewitz and unloaded a 3-pointer over Caris LeVert that again found nothing but net. The trey gave UW a 65-62 lead the Badgers would not relinquish.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Badgers were forced into an uncharacteristically-high 14 turnovers against Michigan, but UW made up for the giveaways with defense. The Badgers allowed the Wolverines to score just eight points off those turnovers, part of a defensive effort that also saw Michigan shoot just 39.4 percent from the field.