Hepburn, Wisconsin edge USC 64-59 to finish 3rd in Bahamas
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — Chucky Hepburn capped a 17-point game with a steal and layup with 10.5 seconds to play to secure Wisconsin’s 64-59 win over USC in the Battle for Atlantis third-place game on Friday.
The Badgers closed the game with a 10-2 run, six points coming from Hepburn.
Both teams were coming off overtime losses to ranked teams in the semifinals and played another nail biter. There were seven ties and 10 lead changes with USC’s largest lead being seven points and Wisconsin’s five.
Both teams also had eight-point runs but Wisconsin’s came within the last five minutes after Drew Peterson’s 3-pointer put USC on top 57-54 with 5:42 to play. Tyler Wahl and Hepburn alternated baskets in the game-changing run as the Trojans went scoreless for 4:52 and missed eight straight shots.
Boogie Ellis ended the drought with 50 seconds to go and after a Hepburn miss coming out of a timeout, Hepburn picked Peterson’s pocket near the top of the key and went down and iced the game with a pump-fake layup.
Wahl scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Badgers (5-1), who face Wake Forest on Tuesday in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Conner Essegian had four 3-pointers and 12 points off the bench. Wisconsin’s three games in the Bahamas were decided by 1, 1, and 5 points.
Peterson went 5 of 6 behind the arc and scored 17 points and added 10 rebounds. Ellis, the top scorer for USC (4-3) at 18.5 points a game, finished with 15 points, but only two in the second half. The Trojans open Pac-12 play at California on Wednesday.
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