Jared Berggren led No. 24 Wisconsin with 27 points and eight rebounds, but it was not enough as the Badgers fell to No. 12 Creighton 84-74 Friday at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas in the Las Vegas Invitational.
Creighton (5-0) shot 47 percent from the field (27-of-58). The Bluejays were hot from long range, hitting 8-of-20 threes for a 40 percent night from beyond the arc. Creighton and Wisconsin (3-2) battled back and forth all game. The lead changed hands 18 times. Doug McDermott sparked the Bluejays, as he contributed 30 points and yanked down eight rebounds for Creighton in the game.
Ethan Wragge had a quality shooting game, nailing 5-of-8 shots from the field and scoring 17 points. More Creighton scoring came from Austin Chatman, who scored 14. The Badgers also got solid contributions from George Marshall, who scored 13 and Ryan Evans, who scored 15.
Not only did the Bluejays go to the line nine more times than did Wisconsin, they made the most of their opportunities, converting 22-of-25. Those free throws came courtesy of 19 fouls committed by the Badgers who were 12-of-16 from the line.
HALFTIME: No. 24 Wisconsin took full advantage of the stellar combination of Ryan Evans and Jared Berggren, ending the first half against No. 12 Creighton up 39-38. Evans scored eight points, grabbed five rebounds, and shot 4-of-7 from the field. Berggren scored 11 points, grabbed three rebounds, and shot 4-of-7 from the field. Neither team has been able to take control of the game thus far.
The Bluejays and the Badgers traded the lead 13 times in the first half. After already giving up 11 offensive rebounds to Creighton, Wisconsin will have to keep the Bluejays off the boards in the second half. The Badgers’ leading scorer, Ben Brust, has been contained by Creighton thus far.
The junior enters halftime with two points, well below his season average of 14.5. Eight Wisconsin players have scored. Gregory Echenique is putting together a nice game so far for the Bluejays. The senior has six points and seven rebounds.
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