March 20, 2011
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Go ‘Beyond the Box’ score with notes and analysis from Wisconsin’s 70-65 win over Kansas State in the third round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
STAR OF THE GAME
Jon Leuer earns Star of the Game honors after scoring a team-high 19 points and pulling in seven rebounds. Leuer scored 13 of his points in the second half, including five in a critical sequence with about eight minutes remaining in the game. With Wisconsin trailing 55-49, its largest deficit of the game, Leuer splashed a 3-pointer and a layup on back-to-back possessions to pull the Badgers within one.
Honorable mention to Jordan Taylor and Mike Bruesewitz for their clutch plays in the final moments (see below).
PLAY OF THE GAME
There were numerous big-time plays Saturday night, but the game-clincher was perhaps the most impressive. With Wisconsin nursing a 68-65 lead and 10 seconds remaining, everyone in the building knew Jacob Pullen would take the potential game-tying shot. The senior guard had already scored 38 points and was going to be the one to take the final shot.
Pullen tried to get separation on the wing, but Big Ten All-Defensive pick Jordan Taylor stayed right in his hip pocket and blocked the 3-point shot. Josh Gasser scooped up the loose ball and was fouled immediately, heading to the free throw line to ice the game.
TURNING POINT OF THE GAME
This game featured seven ties and 13 lead changes, so there were plenty of pivotal turning points. None, however, were as monumental as Mike Bruesewitz’s 3-pointer with 1:31 left to play. Tied 61-61, UW had just missed a pair of free throws on its previous possession, but a defensive stop gave the Badgers another chance to pull ahead.
Taylor pushed the ball ahead quickly after a KSU miss and found Bruesewitz open on the right wing. The sophomore – who finished with 11 points – swished the jumper and gave Wisconsin a lead it would not relinquish.
STAT OF THE GAME
Wisconsin has been able to convert its free throws all season and Saturday was no exception (and the difference) in the Badgers’ win. UW made 19-of-23 free throws (82.6 percent), while Kansas State converted 15-of-22 (68.2 percent). Those four extras points made up nearly all of UW’s five-point win.