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Badgers fall to New Mexico in Legends Classic

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 26: Keith McGee #3 of the New Mexico Lobos drives past Kobe King #23 of the Wisconsin Badgers during the first half of their game at Barclays Center on November 26, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Jaquan Lyle scored 14 points to lead New Mexico to a 59-50 win over Wisconsin in the consolation game of the Legends Classic Tuesday night.

Lyle was one of four Lobos (6-2) to score in double figures. Carlton Bragg, JJ Caldwell and Zane Martin scored 12 points each.

Wisconsin dropped to 4-3 with its second straight loss. Nate Reuvers led all scorers with 16 points. D’Mitrik Trice finished with 11.

The third all-time meeting between the Big Ten and Mountain West programs was a stylistic matchup with New Mexico’s up-tempo attack against Wisconsin’s deliberate, half-court approach.

Similar to its 62-52 loss to Richmond Monday, Wisconsin was able to slow the pace significantly. Lanes were clogged, room on the perimeter for ball-handlers to drive or shoot was at a premium and shots were contested as if these were two long-time rivals who knew what the other wanted to do

New Mexico shot 44% from the field (22 for 50), and 23.1% from 3 (3 for 13), while Wisconsin was 18 for 53 (34%) overall and 7.7% from 3 (2 for 26).

New Mexico led 29-20 at halftime and twice extended its lead to as much as 10 in the second half. But Wisconsin would cut into the deficit.

Caldwell and Martin sandwiched layups 1:52 apart to give the Lobos a 54-50 lead. Caldwell’s crossover-and-driving layup with 3:24 remaining increased the Lobos’ lead to 52-45 and Martin’s layup with 92 seconds left sealed it.

BIG PICTURE

Wisconsin coach Greg Gard lamented the Badgers’ ball management following their semifinal loss to Richmond. Wisconsin committed 15 turnovers in the loss against seven assists, a 2:1 turnover ratio for the game, leading Gard to stress the need to protect the ball.

That did not happen. The Badgers committed 14 turnovers against the Lobos, while recording six assists.

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