Wisconsin and Southern California will meet in the third-place game of the Battle 4 Atlantis on Friday at Paradise Island, Bahamas, after suffering overtime losses in the semifinals a day earlier.
The Badgers (4-1) left the court dejected after Bobby Pettiford Jr.’s reverse layup of a missed 3-pointer as time expired in overtime lifted No. 3 Kansas (6-0) to a 69-68 win. The Badgers had taken the lead with 20 seconds left on Tyler Wahl’s driving layup.
A few hours later, USC (4-2) squandered a late lead in regulation and mustered just four points in overtime. Tennessee’s Santiago Vescovi hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:45 remaining in No. 22 Tennessee’s 73-66 win.
The Badgers, who trailed by as many as 15 points in the second half, were down 60-52 with 3:40 left in regulation. But Wahl (23 points, 10 rebounds) led the rally by scoring the game’s next nine points, capped by a driving layup that gave the Badgers a 61-60 lead with 49 seconds left.
Connor Essegian’s two free throws pushed the lead to three with 23 seconds left before Kevin McCullar’s 3-pointer 11 seconds later sent the game into overtime.
“We’re not into moral victories, but this group showed me a lot today,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. “We also learned we have a lot of things we can continue to get better at.”
USC led 62-58 with 3:21 remaining, but the Trojans didn’t score again in regulation.
The Trojans tied the game at 66 on Boogie Ellis’ jumper with 2:09 left before Vescovi gave Tennessee the lead for good.
USC was led by Ellis, who had 21 points, four assists and three rebounds, while Trey White had 11 points and four rebounds as the only other Trojan to finish in double figures.
The Trojans went 27 for 60 (45 percent) from the field, including 5 of 15 from 3-point range and committed 20 turnovers, including six in overtime, that the Volunteers converted into 25 points.
“Our players played hard,” USC coach Andy Enfield said. “They played well for most of the game. But some of the turnovers are us getting sped up and some are bad decision making. But it’s tough to continuously turn the ball over that many times.”
–Field Level Media
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