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Florida 84, Wisconsin 83: The numbers

March 26, 2017 Columns No Comments

NEW YORK – In a game featuring ten lead changes and seven ties, Florida edged Wisconsin 84-83 in overtime in the New York Regional at Madison Square Garden.

The Gators will face South Carolina, whom they split with during the regular season, on Sunday. The meeting Sunday will have a berth in the Final For on the line.

Friday’s game featured 74 possessions, given overtime a little more in Wisconsin’s tempo. Both teams had an outstanding offensive efficiency: Florida at 115 and Wisconsin 112. The Four Factors:

Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard addresses the media after his team’s heart-breaking overtime loss to Florida (Ray Floriani photo)

eFG: Wisconsin 57, Florida 52
FT rate: Wisconsin 55, Florida 45
OREB pct: Wisconsin 36, Florida 36
TO rate: Wisconsin 22, Florida 16

Florida held their own in rebounding while taking care of the ball with only a 16 percent TO rate (under 20 is the goal). The Badgers, led by Nigel Hayes with 22 points, put four in double figures. KeVaughn Allen was the lone Gator in double digits, as the sophomore guard paced all with 35 points. Wisconsin did a good job drawing fouls, but they didn’t cash in as they shot 20 of 30 (67 percent) for the game and had a crucial misses in overtime.

The game-winning shot was supplied by Junior guard Chris Chiozza. After Hayes hit two free throws, Florida inbounded the ball with four seconds left. Chiozza was able to push it up the court and let go a running jumper just beyond the arc as the buzzer sounded. It found nothing but net and sent Florida to the regional final.

“We needed to do a better job of making him (Chiozza) come back and catch it,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. “When he does catch it make him change direction. And we didn’t.”

Florida coach Mike White noted Chiozza “utilized his speed and quickness and had tremendous composure…. and now we are sitting here with an opportunity to go onto the Final Four.”

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