No. 12 Creighton 84, No. 24 Wisconsin 74: Doug McDermott had a season-high 30 points and Ethan Wragge made four 3-pointers en route to 17 points to lead the Bluejays in the Las Vegas Invitational semifinal game at Orleans Arena.
McDermott – a 6-8 junior forward and the nation’s only returning consensus first-team All-American – scored 17 points in the second half, when Creighton (5-0) finally shook loose of the Badgers. The Bluejays will meet Arizona State in the championship game on Saturday night.
Jared Berggren – a 6-10 fifth-year senior center for Wisconsin (3-2) – tallied a career-high 27 points, including 12 straight during one stretch of the second half. Ryan Evans had 15 points and eight rebounds while George Marshall scored 13 points for the Badgers, who will play Arkansas in the third-place game.
After seven ties and 13 lead changes in the first half, the Badgers led 39-38. Creighton moved ahead 55-48 on a jumper by McDermott with 13:04 left in the game, but Wisconsin responded with a 7-0 run – with all the points coming from Berggren.
Wisconsin took its last lead at 60-58 on two free throws by Berggren with 8:48 left. The Bluejays answered with 10 of the next 12 points – a spurt capped by a 3-pointer from Wragge – and the Badgers never climbed back within one possession.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Wragge came into the game having taken all 22 of his field-goal attempts this season from 3-point distance, making 14. He took his first shot from inside the arc midway through the first half, scoring on a layup. … Wisconsin junior guard Ben Brust entered the contest leading the Badgers in scoring with an average of 14.5 points, but was held to four points on 2-of-12 shooting. … Wisconsin, which was allowing an average of just 51 points this season before Friday, led the nation in scoring defense last season at 53.2 points and did not allow a team to score more than 80.