No. 12 UH falls to Wisconsin in Maui Invitational semifinal
Trailing by 20 points at halftime, UH men’s basketball’s comeback efforts came just short as the Cougars fell to Wisconsin 65-63 in the Maui Invitational semifinal on Tuesday evening in Las Vegas.
The Cougars entered the contest having not trailed in their last 118 minutes of game time but quickly fell behind the Badgers.
Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis began 3 for 3 from the field, scoring a quick eight points to go along with two blocks to help the Badgers jump out to a 13-0 start.
Davis nearly outscored the UH men’s basketball team by himself in the first half, scoring 18 points compared to Houston’s 20 points.
The Cougars shot 25.9 percent from the field in the half compared to the Badgers 57.1 percent shooting, including going 7 of 15 from 3-point range.
UH junior guard Marcus Sasser, who entered the game averaging a team-high 19.8 points per game, struggled mightily in the first half, scoring just three points while committing four turnovers.
Senior guard Kyler Edwards got hot to start the second half, hitting three 3-pointers to quickly cut the Cougars’ deficit in half.
As a team, the Badgers went cold but forward Tyler Wahl kept Wisconsin ahead by double digits midway through the second half, scoring nine points in that span.
Sophomore guard Jamal Shead cut the lead to eight after blowing by his man for an easy layup followed by coming up with a steal and two more fast break points.
Sasser’s first points of the second half cut the Wisconsin lead down to five with seven minutes left in regulation.
Another Sasser 3-pointer a few minutes later and the Wisconsin lead, which was at 20 to begin the second half, was down to three.
Down five within the final minute of regulation, Edwards hit his sixth 3-pointer of the game to cut the deficit to two.
On the next possession, Davis missed a shot with under 10 seconds left, giving UH a chance to tie or win the game. But the Cougars were unable to get a shot off before the clock hit triple zeros, as Wisconsin survived to hand UH its first loss of the season.
Edwards led the UH men’s basketball team with 18 points while Davis led all scorers with a career-high 30 points.