LAHAINA, Hawaii - Arizona spotted Wisconsin a 13-0 lead and paid dearly for it, losing 65-61 in what ultimately became a hard-fought, foul-plagued game in the first round of the Maui Invitational.
The loss dropped Arizona to 2-1 and into a consolation bracket game against Colorado today at 2 p.m. Wisconsin (3-0) will face Gonzaga in a semifinal game.
While Derrick Williams carried the Wildcats offensively with 25 points, Nic Wise chipped in 13 points, and Jamelle Horne had nine. Trevon Hughes led Wisconsin with 24 points.
Wisconsin held a 52-49 lead entering the final five minutes, but Williams hit a pair of free throws with 4:16 left and dunked with 3:39 to give UA a 55-54 lead.
Hughes hit 4 of 4 free throws over a 40-second span to give the Badgers a 57-55 lead, and Keaton Nankivil dunked emphatically to make it 59-55 with 1:30 to go. Wisconsin hung on from there: While Jamelle Horne made a three-pointer to cut the lead to one, Nankivil came back with another dunk, having rebounded a miss by Hughes.
The Wildcats entered the final 10 minutes trailing by just four points and tied the game for the first time with 8:25 left on a rebound basket by Solomon Hill.
They went ahead for the first time when Williams made a turnaround jumper for a 47-45 lead though the teams traded two ties before Travon Hughes hit a three-pointer to give Wisconsin a 52-49 lead entering the final five minutes.
Kyle Fogg fouled out with 4:49 to go, while Jamelle Horne, Nic Wise and Kyryl Natyazhko each had four fouls at that point. Wisconsin had already lost center Jon Leuer to a foul-out with
Early in the second half, Wise spent three minutes on the bench in foul trouble before Derrick Williams almost singlehandly put UA in the game after halftime. Williams scored nine points over the first six minutes of the second half while the Wildcats whittled Wisconsin's nine-point halftime lead to four points. Williams earned most of his points by picking up fouls in the paint and hitting six of his first eight in the second half.
Williams first cut Wisconsin's lead to 36-32 with two free throws with 16:36 left and then scored inside to make it 38-34
Having already missed three minutes early in the game with foul trouble, Wise missed over three minutes in the second half after picking up his third and fourth fouls.
Upon his return, however, the Wildcats cut the Badgers' lead to 41-38 when Jamelle Horne rebounded Lamont Jones' missed jumper and put it back. Williams then went to the line again and hit 1 of 2 free throws to make it 43-39, and the UA went on to tie it.
In the first half, Arizona sputtered to an 0-13 start, failing to make a field goal for over nine minutes, en route to a 31-23 halftime deficit.
Hughes led Wisconsin with 13 points in the half; Williams had eight to lead Arizona, which shot just 22.7 percent from the field.
The Wildcats missed their first seven field goal attempts and were rudderless for three minutes against the suffocating Badgers defense while playing without Wise.
On StarNet: Follow Arizona Wildcat basketball on reporter Bruce Pascoe's blog at go.azstarnet.com/pascoe