Wisconsin wins 2021 Maui Invitational with 61-55 win over Saint Mary's
With the way they played, Tyler Wahl and Johnny Davis might not want to come back from Maui.
The 2 powered Wisconsin, now 5-1 on the year, to a 61-55 win over Saint Mary’s on Wednesday to claim the Maui Jim Maui Championship. Davis scored 20 points to lead all scorers while Wahl added 18.
Davis gets the headline. He was sensational during the Badgers’ 3 game run, averaging 23.7 points per contest en route to the tournament win. Against the Gaels, he shot 7-for-17 from the field, made his only 3-point attempt, and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line. The 6-foot-5 guard also pitched in 7 boards, an assist, and a steal.
To open the run, Davis scored 21 points and grabbed 9 boards in a 69-58 win over Texas A&M on Monday. He followed that up with a 30-point performance on Tuesday in the Badgers’ 65-63 upset of No. 12 Houston. Davis also had 4 steals in the game.
Wahl, a 6-foot-9 junior, exploded in the final after so-so games the first 2 days. He was 6-for-9 from the field, grabbed 5 boards, and blocked 4 Gael shots.
With the margin just 2 points in favor of the Badgers and the clock ticking under a minute to play, Wahl perhaps single-handily took control of the game. He hit a nifty turnaround jumper to put the Badgers up by 4, then blocked an attempt at the rim by Saint Mary’s at the other end, grabbed the rebound, drew the desperation foul, and knocked down a pair of free throws at the other end to put UW up by 6. At that point, Saint Mary’s had just 27 seconds to make up multiple possessions.
Around the 2 star performances, the Badgers shot poorly. While Wahl and Davis were a combined 13-of-26 from the field, the rest of the Wisconsin team shot 8-for-30. Lead guard Brad Davison struggled mightily, going just 1-for-10 from the field and 1-for-7 from 3.
But the Badgers limited turnovers and forced the Gaels into mistakes. UW had an 18-12 advantage in free throw attempts and forced 16 turnovers.
The Badgers will get a little break once they return home from Maui, but they’ll look to stay hot when they travel to Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday, Dec. 1 to take on Georgia Tech in the B1G/ACC Challenge. The Yellow Jackets are 4-1 to begin the year. Tip-off in that one is set for 9:15 p.m. ET on ESPN2.