MADISON, WIS. - The Gophers recorded 12 personal fouls in the second half -- seven of them in the first 3 minutes, 32 seconds after halftime -- but after all was said and done Saturday, there really will be only one that is remembered.
Both teams put on anemic offensive performances and gave away plenty of chances to win. But in the Gophers' 45-44 loss to Wisconsin, that controversial foul, which led to the winning basket, will get a lot of attentions.
After Wisconsin's Traevon Jackson hit a long two-point jumper with 1:04 remaining to tie the score at 43, the Gophers had a chance to respond. But instead of looking for a quick shot or an open teammate, Andre Hollins barreled through a mass of defenders and was called for the charge.
"He [Ben Brust] pushed me in the back a little bit," Hollins said, "but I went too deep. I should have just gotten the shot up. In that situation, you've just got to get the ball on the rim. [It's bad] to not have a shot attempt at all."
As a result, Jackson got the ball again, flinging up a contested shot that was released so close to the shot-clock buzzer sounding that it appeared to have been a possible violation. Screen shots of the release appear to show that Jackson got the shot off a millisecond before the time elapsed (and technically, violations are called by the sound of the buzzer, not the clock), and such a violation is not reviewable according to the NCAA rule book.
"That was a big play, especially when they got the shot off," Gophers center Trevor Mbakwe said. "I thought it was pretty close to being [a violation]. But I could have done a better job of contesting the shot then and they were able to get a look off, and that was the game right there."
The Gophers got fouled on the other end with under two seconds left, but Rodney Williams made just one of two free throws to seal the Badgers' victory.
"It was lack of discipline," Gophers coach Tubby Smith said. "He shot-faked and we jump out of the way, once again a mistake. And that's how you get beat, making mistakes like we've been making."Andre Hollins bounces back
One game after his worst outing of the season, point guard Andre Hollins was the bright spot Saturday, scoring a game-high 20 points -- no one else on either team had more than 10 -- and adding five rebounds. The only negatives were his three turnovers and his charging foul on the Gophers' second-to-last possession, which he called "poor decision-making."
"We want the ball in his hands for him to create for others or create for himself," Mbakwe said. "Like I said last game, he's a competitor, he's tough, he bounced back from a tough game at Northwestern. He led us offensively."