Hayes saves the day: Buzzer-beater lifts Red past White in scrim - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Hayes saves the day: Buzzer-beater lifts Red past White in scrimmage

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MADISON, Wis. – The annual Red/White Scrimmage for Wisconsin men’s basketball came down to an eventful finish, as Nigel Hayes hit a step-back 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift Red past White in a 47-45 win at the Kohl Center on Sunday afternoon.

After a technical foul was called against the White team bench, Red made two free throws to draw the game to within a point with 25 seconds remaining. An errant turnover from White gave the ball back to Red with a chance to win the game. Trailing by a point as time wound down, Hayes gave the 6,801 in attendance something to cheer about. The junior forward stuck a clutch jumper over the outstretched arms of defender Vitto Brown to clinch the win at the buzzer.

“I need to talk to talk to Coach (Gary) Close to find out what that technical foul was all about. No, we always try to get it if it’s a close game at the end, have it come down to one possession,” head coach Bo Ryan explained. “It was a planted technical. That was pretty neat to put it into a final possession like that and Nigel (Hayes) stepped up big. He was 2-for-26 or whatever, but he hit a couple big ones there.”

While Hayes finished the game 2-for-10 from the floor, he hit his two field goals when they meant the most in the final two minutes. Zak Showalter led the Red team with 11 points, two rebounds and two steals. Freshman Andy Van Vliet nearly had a double-double in his unofficial Kohl Center debut with eight points, nine rebounds and four blocks for Red.

“To have this kind of turnout for the Red and White was phenomenal,” Ryan said. “Like I said, it shows the interest. They wanted to see the new guys and see how the veterans came back. I didn’t think we were going to get to 35 or 40 (points) there for a little while. But again, it’s the first time under the lights, people in the stands that sort of thing. But that’s why we do these things, they’ve helped us in the past.”

Leading the way for team White was Bronson Koenig, who racked up a game-high 14 points, three assists, three rebounds and two steals. Redshirt freshman Ethan Happ nearly had a double-double of his own with eight points and eight rebounds. Brown, and freshmen Khalil Iverson and Charlie Thomas chipped in six points apiece.

White had the better first half and led 21-19 at the break, with contributions evenly spread out between Brown, Happ, Iverson and Koenig. Each scored four points, while Brown, Happ and Iverson also collected four rebounds each in the half. The four aforementioned Badgers accounted for 16 of White’s 21 points in the first half and 14 of the group’s 19 rebounds.

For Red, Jordan Hill led the way in the first half with five points on an efficient 2-for-3 shooting, while Alex Illikainen and Aaron Moesch contributed four points each.

Red shot just 26.1 percent from the floor in the first half, while White shot 33.3 percent.

Nerves settled down and shooting percentages went up for both sides in the second half, as Red finished at 50 percent and White shot 58.8 percent from the field in half number two.

After White led by as much as nine points with 16:02 remaining in the second half, Red chipped away and made its rally. Red closed the game on an 8-0 run, capped by Hayes’ game-winner as time expired.

Wisconsin hosts UW-River Falls at the Kohl Center for an exhibition next Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT. The regular season officially begins Nov. 13 when the Badgers will raise the 2015 Final Four banner at the Kohl Center.

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