Wisconsin Badgers vs Boston College Eagles Basketball Recap
Wisconsin 65, Boston College 55
Wisconsin’s size and determination overcame Boston College in the semifinal of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando.
Boston College coach Steve Donahue coached Cornell to an 87-69 victory over No. 4 seed Wisconsin in last year’s NCAA Tournament second round to take his team to the Sweet 16. On Friday, Coach Bo Ryan’s Badgers gained a small but meaningful measure of revenge. Games between power conference teams are valuable for building up a solid NCAA Tournament-worthy resume. When the NCAA selection committee looks at various teams in March, this kind of a game could very well stand out at the war room in Indianapolis, where the NCAA is headquartered.
The first half was even until a 13-2 run for the Eagles with four minutes to go was answered by an 11-4 run by the Badgers to finish the period with Boston College leading 29-26. Eagle guard Reggie Jackson led all scorers with 10 points in the stanza, landing two of his three 3-point attempts and pulling down three rebounds. Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor each had eight points for the Badgers.
What ultimately decided this game was the same basic combination of ingredients that have always worked for the Badgers, who made the Final Four in 2000 under former coach Dick Bennett and have continued to be a year-in, year-out tournament team under Ryan, the defense-preaching successor who has built a lengthy collegiate career by staying within the state of Wisconsin’s university school system.
In the second half, a 26-4 run by Wisconsin, built on the back of solid offensive play in the paint and vintage defense that truly did Badger Boston College into submission, resulted in a 22-point lead for the boys from the Big Ten Conference with six minutes remaining in regulation. The Eagles responded with 15-0 run to cut the deficit to seven with 29 seconds left, but the Badgers answered back to hold the Eagles at bay for a 10-point win.
Forward Jon Leuer led the Badgers with 18 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 assists. His teammate, Jordan Taylor, had 14 points, followed by Josh Gasser and Rob Wilson with 8 points.
Boston College was led by Jackson with 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists, but he also committed 3 turnovers that were attributed to the stiff pressure Wisconsin applied with its man-to-man defense in the second half. Joe Trapani managed 11 points and 4 rebounds in a losing cause as well for BC.