first_imgINDIANAPOLIS? Michael Flowers would have made a great cornerback.Flowersintercepted a pass intended for Drew Neitzel with 30 seconds left, and hisdriving layup was the difference in No. 8 Wisconsin’s 65-63 victory overMichigan?State on Saturday that sent the Badgers to the Big Ten titlegame. Well, Flowers’ strip and score and a whole bunch of fouls.TheBadgers were able to overcome a rough day offensively thanks in part to theSpartans’ foul trouble. No. 19 Michigan?State was called for 30 fouls andhad four players foul out ? three in one 56-second span alone.“I’mvery disappointed in the outcome,” said Michigan?State coach TomIzzo, who was so upset he had to stop several times to compose himself in hispostgame news conference. “I don’t plan on getting over this today. Idon’t plan on getting over this tomorrow. On Monday I’ll get over it.”TheBadgers, meanwhile, are just happy to keep playing after rallying from 12 downin the second half. They reached the Big Ten tournament championship for asecond straight year, and the fourth time in five years. Wisconsin (28-4) willplay either Illinois or Minnesota, both of which need to win the title to getan NCAA bid.Wisconsinhas now won nine straight, and 22 of 24.“Idon’t think words can really describe what the guys did in the comeback,”Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. “Probably the best way to describe it is toput a DVD on, watch it again and make your own observations.”TheSpartans (25-8) certainly have their thoughts about the outcome, but they’renot fit for the public. They were in foul trouble from the start of the game,averaging a foul a minute at one point in the first half. Leading scorer RaymarMorgan, and big men Goran Suton, Drew Naymick and Idong Ibok all fouled out,and Isaiah Dahlman was the only one of the 12 Spartans who played who didn’tget at least one foul.Michigan?Statehad more fouls (14) than field goals (11) in the first half, and Izzo wasforced to cobble together lineups that rarely are seen outside of practice.Despiteall that, Neitzel and freshman Kalin Lucas not only kept the Spartans in thegame, they almost pulled off the victory. Neitzel, who has had an up-and-downyear, had his second big game in a row, leading all scorers with 26. Lucas had18.“For(Neitzel) to play the way he did the last two days, I’ve always said goodthings happen to people who work hard and stick to it,” Izzo said, chokingup. “I think he deserved what he got as far as his play. I don’t think hedeserved what he got as far as the game went.”Neitzelconverted a three-point play, and Lucas sandwiched two jumpers around a freethrow to give Michigan?State a 63-61 lead with two minutes to play. MarcusLandry tied it with a pair of free throws with 1:41 left.Aftera Wisconsin turnover, the Spartans were trying to get the ball in Neitzel’shands. But Flowers, a member of the Big Ten’s all-defensive team, read thefreshman point guard perfectly, stepping in and grabbing Lucas’ pass before itgot anywhere close to Neitzel.“Iknew they were probably looking for Drew Neitzel,” Flowers said. “Ifhe doesn’t have the ball, he can’t score, so I over-covered him.”Flowerstook the ball in for the easy layup, and Wisconsin had a 65-63 lead with 27seconds left.TheSpartans were hoping to get the ball to Neitzel again, but Wisconsin’s stingydefense wasn’t giving them anything. Lucas finally put up a layup, but itrattled off the rim and Brian Butch grabbed the rebound. Michigan?Stategot one more chance after Jason Bohannon missed a pair of free throws andTravis Walton got the rebound, but Neitzel had the 6-foot-11 Butch in front ofhim and his 3-pointer missed bounced off the rim.“Wewere down (12), and we were saying, ‘It’s going to come on the defensiveend,’” Butch said.Butchled the Badgers with 19 points, and Landry had 18. Joe Krabbenhoft had hisfourth double-double of the year with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Wisconsin isnow 11-3 against Michigan?State since Ryan arrived in 2001, including twowins this year.“Rightnow, we’re trying to be the most opportunistic team in the country,” Ryansaid. “We don’t care who gets (the ball) or where, but if we can getwithin 15 feet in, you’ve got a better shot at getting to the free throwline.”Wisconsinwasn’t making its free throws early, and the frequent stops-and-starts seemedto keep the Badgers from getting into any kind of rhythm. Despite Naymick andSuton picking up their third fouls in the first three minutes of the secondhalf, the Spartans opened with a 10-2 run that put them up 39-29 with 15:26 toplay. They would later push the lead to 53-41 on 3-pointers by Neitzel andLucas and a pair of free throws from Morgan.Butthings unraveled in the 56-second span from 6:06 to 5:10 when Ibok, Naymick andSuton all fouled out. The Badgers made six of seven free throws, and Butchadded a 3-pointer to pull Wisconsin to 55-54 with 4:23 to play.last_img read more


first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ In the first of two exhibitions to start the 2017-18 season, Syracuse beat Southern New Hampshire, a Division II program, 84-54, on Wednesday night inside the Carrier Dome. The Orange went down early, 13-8, but implemented a full-court defense to rip off a 22-0 first-half run and pull away from the Penmen. Nine days before the season opener, sophomore guard Tyus Battle led all players with 20 points. Freshman forward Oshae Brissett added 17.Here are superlatives from the game.The turning point: Tyus Battle’s dunkA two-handed slam by Syracuse’s sophomore guard provided the lift the Orange needed. To dismiss a sloppy first nine and a half minutes, SU flashed full-court pressure. The first SNHU possession after the change resulted in a quick steal and dish to Battle, who slammed it with two hands to give SU a 15-13 lead. Syracuse rode the dunk amid a 22-0 run, part of a 33-8 explosion headed into the break.Stud: Tyus BattleAdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse’s lone returning starter from last season was aggressive from the start. Battle commanded the SU offense early, finding his way into the lane and establishing his shot. He went 0-for-4 from 3 but went 8-for-9 from the charity stripe over 26 minutes of turnover-free basketball. On consecutive possessions in the second half, Battle drove and hit an open Howard Washington for 3.Dud: Matthew MoyerMoyer, a redshirt freshman, started at forward and finished with 10 rebounds. But he was slow to get to perimeter shooters on a couple of closeouts and had only five points across a team-high 28 minutes. He went 2-for-7 from the field and committed four fouls.Highlight: Bourama Sidibe’s blockingIn his first unofficial game of college basketball, Sidibe drew immediate attention. He came off the bench to replace starter Paschal Chukwu, a junior, and racked up five blocks in nine minutes of first-half play. Sidibe blocked the layup attempt of the first driver that came his way. With about seven minutes before the half, Sidibe stuffed a shot that hit a fan in the second row behind the basket.He hit four straight free throws, too, amid SU’s 22-0 run. When Chukwu fell into foul trouble at the start of the second half, Sidibe got more time than the 20 minutes per game head coach Jim Boeheim anticipated. Sidibe finished with six blocks, 10 points and eight boards.Lowlight: Frank Howard’s turnoversHoward, the starting point guard, scored Syracuse’s first points of the game on a 3-pointer from the right wing. He racked up 15 points and three steals, but the junior finished with six turnovers against a Division-II defense. With SU down one about four minutes in, Howard dribbled into traffic around the left elbow and lost control.With Syracuse down 8-5, he didn’t hit rim on an awkward lefty layup attempt. Later, after Syracuse commanded a double-digit lead, Howard tossed a pass out of bounds. Boeheim slapped his forehead in frustration.Out due to injury: Geno ThorpeThorpe, a graduate transfer from South Florida, sat on the bench in a jumpsuit because he hurt his ankle in practice. He did not play, leaving the SU frontcourt to Battle, Howard and Washington.Syracuse plays next on Monday night against Southern Connecticut State in its second and final exhibition. Comments Published on November 1, 2017 at 9:20 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21last_img read more