Johnny Davis scored 30 points and Wisconsin turned back a furious second-half rally to hold off 12th-ranked Houston 65-63 on Tuesday in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational at Las Vegas.
Wisconsin (4-1) advances to the final on Wednesday, where it will oppose Saint Mary’s. Houston (4-1) will play Oregon in the third-place game.
Houston, which trailed 40-20 at the half, rebounded a missed shot by Wisconsin with 10 seconds left, but did not get a shot off on its final possession.
Davis hit two free throws with 45 seconds left to put Wisconsin up 65-60. Kyler Edwards countered with his fifth 3-pointer of the half to make it 65-63.
Houston pulled within 55-52 on Jamal Shead’s lay-in with 4:44 remaining. Davis hit two free throws, then added a steal and dunk to put Wisconsin up 59-52.
Edwards had 18 points and Marcus Sasser added 11 for the Cougars, who shot 59.3 percent in the second half (16-for-27).
Tyler Wahl and Brad Davison had nine apiece for Wisconsin.
Edwards got Houston back into the game, hitting hit three consecutive 3-pointers to cap a 10-point run to open the second half as Wisconsin missed its first six shots.
Wahl’s lay-in with 13:42 remaining was Wisconsin’s first field goal of the second half for a 44-32 lead. Houston scored six straight to get within 51-45 with just under eight minutes left.
The first half flipped the script for each team from their tournament openers.
Wisconsin, which overcame a 16-point first-half deficit in its win over Texas A&M, jumped out to a 13-0 lead against the Cougars. The Badgers hit five of their first eight shots, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.
Houston, which raced to a 17-0 lead in its first game against Butler, missed its first five shots against Wisconsin.
Wisconsin held the Cougars without a field goal over the final 3:42 en route to the 20-point halftime lead. The Badgers shot 57.1 percent in the first half, making 16 of 28 shots, including 7 of 15 from 3-point range, with 10 assists.
Davis, who sat out Wisconsin’s only loss with a heel injury, had 18 points in the first half on 7-of-11 shooting. Davis was 3 of 14 from beyond the arc entering the game but hit his first four 3-point attempts.
–Field Level Media
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