PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (Sporting Alert) — Sam Dekker scored 17 points and Nigel Hayes added 15 and No. 2 Wisconsin rallied to beat Georgetown 68-65 in the Battle 4 Atlantis semifinals at Imperial Arena in the Bahamas on Thursday.
Hayes, who went 5-of-7 from the field, also pulled down seven rebounds, while Dekker (6-of-11) had six boards in the win for the Badgers (6-0), who trailed for most of the first half before taking a 35-34 lead at the break.
Bronson Koenig added 14 points and four rebounds off the bench for Wisconsin, which shot 48.8-percent from the field on 21-for-43.
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera hit 11-of-18 shots, including 5-of-6 three pointers on his way to scoring a game-high 29 points for Georgetown (4-1).
However, his lone missed from behind the arc came on the last play of the day as he tried to forced overtime play.
“It was a fairly good look,” Smith-Rivera told reporters after the defeat.
“I knew they were going to trap me coming off the screen, so I kind of wanted to take them away and come back and get a better look at the basket. But it didn’t go down.”
Joshua Smith added 10 points in the defeat for the Hoyas.
A Frank Kaminsky free throw gave the Badgers a 60-59 lead with 5:07 left and then Koenig and Dekker made successive buckets to extend the lead, which Wisconsin held on to until the end.
Wisconsin will next face Oklahoma in the championship game on Friday, while Georgetown will battle with Butler in the third-place game.
In another game in the Battle 4 Atlantis, No. 5 North Carolina (4-1) rebounded from its 74-66 defeat to Butler on Wednesday night with a 78-56 victory over No. 22 UCLA (4-2).
Marcus Paige scored 21 points, dished out five assists and three steals for the Tar Heels in a winning effort this time.
“It’s easy now for us to see the difference in how we played tonight versus how we played (Wednesday in a loss to Butler),” Paige said, according to the Associated Press.
“The way everyone was into it, playing unselfish, flying around on defense, being active, that’s a more fun way to play.
“… And when you see the results as drastically different as they were, why wouldn’t you want to play that way?”
Justin Jackson scored 12 points, while Isaiah Hicks and J.P. Tokoto each added 10 points apiece in the win.
Norman Powell led the UCLA Bruins with 15 points, five steals and four rebounds, with Kevon Looney adding 11 points and six boards in the defeat.
Top 25 Men’s College Basketball Scores
(2) Wisconsin 68, Georgetown 65 – Box Score
(5) North Carolina 78, (22) UCLA 56 – Box Score
(11) Kansas 76, Rhode Island 60 – Box Score
(18) Florida 56, UAB 47 – Box Score
(20) Michigan St 77, Rider 45 – Box Score