Still alive, Badgers beat Liberty 75-71 in Round 2 of NIT
Wisconsin took on the Liberty Flames in Round 2 of the NIT on Sunday, defeating the Flames 75-71 in a back-and-forth matchup. The Badgers will now move on to the final eight teams in the tournament.
Steven Crowl and Chucky Hepburn led the way for the Badgers in the first half, producing 14 and 19 points respectively. Their 33 combined points were just one short of the Flames 34 points in the half. As a result, Wisconsin went into break up 37-34.
Although Crowl cooled down in the second half, failing to score a bucket, Hepburn remained very active at the offensive end. The sophomore point guard notched eight points in the back half, finishing at a team-high 27 points.
For Liberty, Darius McGhee came into the contest average 22.6 points per game, producing a game-high 31 points while also adding six rebounds and four assists. Additionally, Kyle Rode notched 16 points while making four three-pointers for the Flames.
Down the stretch, Max Klesmit stepped up big for the Badgers, nailing their only three-pointer with 2:09 remaining in the game, his first bucket of the contest. The long-range make gave Wisconsin a 68-67 lead and he later added another bucket and two free throws in crunch time.
In the end, Wisconsin once again protected their home court, using the atmosphere at the Kohl Center to propel them to a win with 10,436 fans in attendance.
Greg Gard and his squad will now take on either 1-seed Oregon or UCF in Round 3 of the NIT in a couple days.