Sun, 11 Jun 2023

No. 23 Wisconsin, Ga. Tech measure up after hot starts

Field Level Media
01 Dec 2021, 06:40 GMT+10

No. 23 Wisconsin and Georgia Tech meet in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Wednesday in Atlanta and it could be an early season heat check for two rolling programs.

Wisconsin (5-1) won three straight games to claim the Maui Invitational in Las Vegas last week by defeating Texas AM and then-No. 12 Houston before posting a 61-55 over St. Mary's in the title game.

Georgia Tech (5-1) has won five straight games since a season-opening loss to visiting Miami of Ohio.

The Badgers overcame a 10-point, second-half deficit for their third straight victory over a team that entered the game undefeated. Johnny Davis scored 20 points and Tyler Wahl added 18 in the win over St. Mary's.

Wisconsin trailed 37-27 early in the second half before Wahl's layup with 4:27 remaining gave the Badgers a 50-46 lead they wouldn't relinquish.

The Badgers secured the win by going 16-for-18 from the free throw line to become the first Big Ten team to win the Maui Invitational since Illinois in 2012.

"The grit and the resilience, that's always a good starting point," Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. "When your guys play hard, you can live with mistakes. The grit and resolve with this group, I've seen that from the beginning."

Davis leads the Badgers in points (20.2), rebounds (5.6), assists (2.2) and steals (2.0) per game, while Brad Davison averages 13.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Wahl averages 9.3 and 5.0 rebounds per game, with Steven Crowl adding 9.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

"They're good," Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner said. "It should be a fun game playing Wisconsin in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge."

The Yellow Jackets are surging behind Michael Devoe, who is averaging 23.4 points per game while shooting 56.9 percent from the field and a scorching 62.1 percent from the 3-point line. He's also averaging 5.6 points and 5.0 assists per game.

Devoe scored 15 of his game-high 26 points in the second half as Georgia Tech rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit and held on for 61-59 victory over visiting Georgia Southern on Friday.

After Devoe's free throw gave the Yellow Jackets a 61-59 lead with seven seconds remaining, the Eagles' Elijah McCadden missed a 3-pointer with two seconds remaining and Jordan Usher secured the rebound for Georgia Tech.

"We had to gut that win out," Pastner said. "We had a great defensive stand at the end there and I'm just proud of our guys for a great win. We got down 12 and in the second half and we got ourselves back in the flow."

Usher averages 15.8 points and 3.0 assists in addition to a team-high 8.7 rebounds per game, while Rodney Howard averages 8.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

--Field Level Media

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