Wisconsin falls to No. 20 St. Mary’s in overtime

Wisconsin is 0-1 for just the second time in the last 18 seasons. That’s after the Badgers fell, 65-63, to No. 20 St. Mary’s in overtime Tuesday night.

Coach Greg Gard’s club had a chance to win it in regulation. After trailing by nine with 8:00 left, the Badgers clawed their way back to tie the game and there were just 23 seconds left when they got a stop on the defensive with the game 54 all. But a shaky final possession ended up with junior Aleem Ford chucking up a desperation 3-pointer that didn’t go.

In overtime, Wisconsin led 63-60 when junior Brad Davison bailed the Gaels out by committing a foul with 1:38 left in the game and just three seconds left on the shot clock. After St. Mary’s Malik Fitts made both free throws, sophomore Kobe King dribbled the ball off his leg on the other end. The Gaels capitalized with Fitts finding enough room inside for the layup and a 64-63 lead with 59 seconds left.

On their next possession, the Badgers got a good look from junior Nate Reuvers on an elbow jumper but it didn’t fall. And instead of fouling St. Mary’s and putting them on the line for a 1-and-1, Gard allowed it to play out with about a 5-second difference between the game clock and shot clock. Wisconsin forced a missed shot but the Gaels grabbed the offensive rebound, one of 13 on the night. St. Mary’s Kyle Bowen went 1 of 2 from the line before another desperation 3-pointer from Ford fell short at the buzzer.

Wisconsin was led by Reuvers’ 22 points, tied for his career-high. He added six rebounds and four blocks. Davison put up 16, while D’Mitrik Trice had 10.

The Gaels were paced by Jordan Ford’s 26 points, though he scored just two points in the final 16:41 of the game. Fitts posted 16 points, including seven of St. Mary’s 11 points in overtime.

The Badgers will come home now to face Eastern Illinois in their home opener on Friday night at the Kohl Center.