The Wisconsin Badgers run in the NIT came to an abrupt and shocking end on Tuesday night as the Badgers fell to the North Texas Mean Green 56-54 in the NIT Semifinals.
The Badgers did not score a single point in the final 9:07 of the game. Their last points came on a Connor Essegian three pointer to end a 4 minute scoring drought, but it brought on an even bigger drought. Wisconsin had a chance to break it, but Tyler Wahl missed both of his free throw attempts with 49 seconds left that could've tied the game at 56.
Wisconsin played well in the first half, leading 41-29 at halftime with Chucky Hepburn leading the way. He had 15 points and hit his first five three pointers, and five of his first six shots. Hepburn did not make another shot the rest of the night.
The second half was a completely different story as Wisconsin scored just 13 points in 20 minutes. North Texas didn't exactly light up the scoreboard, only scoring 10 points over the final nine minutes of the game and 29 points in the second half. Wisconsin simply could not hit a shot.
Wisconsin averaged just around 8 turnovers per game this season but they had 9 turnovers in the second half alone.
Still, Wisconsin had a chance late, possession of the ball with just a few seconds left. They get the pass inside to Steven Crowl, who then gives it up to Tyler Wahl, who then tries to give it back to Crowl, who's unable to handle the pass, and Wisconsin can't even get off a final shot to try to tie or win the game.
The second half scoring droughts have plagued Wisconsin all season long and it was their nemesis once again in the NIT Semifinals. That brings an end to the Badgers 2022-23 basketball season.