Thursday's roundup: No. 2 Wisconsin holds on
Paradise Island, Bahamas — Duje Dukan thought he had created a turnover with a held ball. The referees said he was guilty of a foul instead.
It's a play that won't make highlight reels, won't get pointed to in any boxscore.
But it sparked No. 2 Wisconsin into finding a way to survive its first test this season.
Sam Dekker scored 17 points, Nigel Hayes' acrobatic tip-in with 20 seconds left capped his 15-point day, and Wisconsin overcame a nine-point second-half deficit to beat upset-minded Georgetown, 68-65, on Thursday in the Battle 4 Atlantis semifinals.
"I have bruises," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "And I was watching."
The Badgers hadn't trailed in the second half this season, but found themselves down 53-44 with 11:36 left. A 22-6 run put Wisconsin (5-0) up for good, and the Badgers could finally exhale when D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's 3-pointer rimmed out as time expired.
Smith-Rivera, who was 5-for-5 from beyond the arc until the game's final shot, led all scorers with 29 for Georgetown (4-1).
"It was a fairly good look," Smith-Rivera said. "I knew they were going to trap me coming off the screen, so I kind of wanted to take them away and come back and get a better look at the basket. But it didn't go down."
Wisconsin will face Oklahoma in Friday's title game. Georgetown, which got 10 points from Joshua Smith, will play Butler in an all-Big East matchup for third place.
"These first two games have felt like Big East games, to be honest with you," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "So why not make it official tomorrow?"
Bronson Koenig tied a career best with 14 points for Wisconsin, which survived despite a six-point, 1-for-8 shooting day from standout center Frank Kaminsky.
Dukan was called for a foul with 7:25 left, arguing it to no avail.
He took his frustration out on the Hoyas instead.
Dukan scored all eight of his points in the next 80 seconds, turning a four-point deficit into a two-point Wisconsin lead with 6:04 left and the Badgers didn't trail again. He also dove for a loose ball after Kaminsky missed a free throw, and on that extended possession Koenig made a jumper for a 62-59 lead with 4:27 left.
"That kind of was the trigger point for me," Dukan said. "Got me amped up."
Georgetown's players didn't get back to their hotel rooms until around 1 a.m. Friday, thanks to the Hoyas needing overtime to beat No. 18 Florida 66-65 in the quarterfinals.
Less than 15 hours later, they tipped off against the Badgers.
Rest might be overrated: The Hoyas made their first six shots. Midway through the second half, Georgetown was at 61 percent shooting for the game, but the Hoyas missed eight of their final 10 shots.
For the game, Wisconsin had nine assists and 14 turnovers, while Georgetown had seven assists and 15 turnovers.
"That's how hard we were playing each other," Ryan said.
Men's Big Ten
Illinois 88, Indiana State 62: Rayvonte Rice scored 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead Illinois in the third round of the Las Vegas Invitational. Malcolm Hill scored 17 points with eight rebounds, while going 11 of 12 at the free-throw line for the Illini (5-0). Nnanna Egwu, Aaron Cosby and Kendrick Nunn each had 10 points for Illinois, which is 3-0 in the Invitational.
The Illini, who never trailed, hit 8 of their first 9 of shots and jumped to a 30-8 advantage.
Grant Prusator led Indiana State (3-2) off the bench with 17 points. Before Thursday, he only played two games this season with one field goal. Brenton Scott added 10 points for the Sycamores, who are 2-1 in the tourney.
More men's Top 25
No. 5 North Carolina 78, No. 22 UCLA 56: At the Bahamas, Marcus Paige had 21 points and five assists, Justin Jackson scored 12 points and North Carolina beat UCLA in the Battle 4 Atlantis consolation round.
Isaiah Hicks and J.P. Tokoto each scored 10 points for the Tar Heels (4-1), who closed the first half on a 32-11 run and put the game absolutely away with a 15-0 second-half run.
Paige had back-to-back 3-pointers to get that second run going, as North Carolina turned a nine-point edge into a 62-38 lead with 9:12 left.
Norman Powell scored 15 points for UCLA (4-2).
No. 11 Kansas 76, Rhode Island 60: At Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Perry Ellis scored 17 points to help Kansas beat Rhode Island in the opening round of the Orlando Classic.
Ellis had 11 points in the opening 20 minutes to help Kansas cruise to a 43-25 halftime lead.
Frank Mason III added 12 points for Kansas (3-1), which has a pair of victories since a 72-40 loss to No. 1 Kentucky on Nov. 18. E.C. Matthews scored 20 points for Rhode Island (3-1), which was coming off a 66-62 overtime victory over then-No. 21 Nebraska on Saturday. Gilvydas Biruta had 16 points and seven rebounds.
Kansas will face Tennessee in the semifinals Friday. Tennessee beat Santa Clara 64-57.
No. 18 Florida 56, Alabama-Birmingham 47: Michael Frazier scored 14 points, Chris Chiozza added 13, and Florida survived another rough offensive night in the consolation round at the Battle 4 Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas. Kasey Hill's layup with 1:26 left — just the second 2-point basket after halftime for Florida — put the Gators up 51-47 and they held on from there, despite shooting 34 percent from the field.
Tosin Mehinti and Robert Brown each scored 12 points for UAB (2-4), which led by seven early and was up 47-45 with 3:59 remaining.
Long Beach State 73, Western Michigan 55: At Fullerton, Calif., Mike Caffey had 17 points to lead Long Beach State to victory in the Wooden Legacy tournament.
Caffey also had four assists for Long Beach State (3-3).
For Western Michigan (3-2), Austin Richie had 13 points and Connar Tava had 12.
Central Michigan 61, Richmond 56: At Las Vegas, Jessica Green scored 13 to lead Central (2-1) in the first round of the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout. Richmond is 3-1.