Wisconsin knocks off Oregon in NIT quarterfinal

The Badgers advance to the NIT semifinal for the first time in their program’s history.
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 9:59 PM CDT
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EUGENE, Ore. (WSAW) - Wisconsin has advanced to the NIT semifinal for the first time in program history after beating Oregon 61-58 on the road.

The Badgers jumped out to a 19-13 lead in the first half, holding Oregon to just 11 points through the first 10 minutes. Wisconsin went cold after this moment, making just one basket in the final 9:53 of the half. Despite this, they led 27-26 at halftime.

Both sides went back-and-forth in the second half, with Oregon taking a slim 38-37 with 13:23 left. Oregon reeled off a 10-1 run to take a seven point lead.

After a long push back into the game, a Connor Essegian three-pointer made it a three point game with 3:17 remaining. Steven Crowl added a jumper, and Max Klesmit hit a go-ahead three with 1:45 left to give the Badgers a 56-55 lead.

Oregon jumped back in front with a layup by Quincy Guerrier, but Chucky Hepburn hit a three to push Wisconsin back in front by two. With 11 seconds left, the Ducks made one out of two free throws to cut their deficit to one. The Badgers were able to make two free throws, while Oregon missed a last second three pointer to give Wisconsin the 61-58 win.

Max Klesmit led the Badgers with 17 points, while Hepburn was behind him with 12 points.

They will take on North Texas in Las Vegas on March 28.