HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Even though BYU fell to Wisconsin, 73-56, Saturday night at the Chicago Invitational Challenge at the Sears Centre, the loss taught the Cougars some valuable lessons.
"Obviously, we're disappointed because we didn't win," said coach Dave Rose. "But I thought there were a lot of positive things that came from the game. It was a real learning experience for some of our guys … All in all, I think we're disappointed and we'll learn from it. Hopefully next time we get an opportunity against a ranked team, we'll play a little better."
BYU was tied with Wisconsin, 42-42, with 13:30 remaining in the game before going five minutes without scoring.
Forward Noah Hartsock said his team needs to learn how to perform better down the stretch.
"We've just got to be able to finish games up," he said. "We've got to play tougher, even if we're down. We've still got to play on attack. We didn't do that tonight and it showed."
Hartsock credited Wisconsin's performance, but added that the Cougars should have made more plays in the second half.
"They're a very good team — great shooters, great coaching," he said. "We've got to focus on our game being tougher and finishing games, and being able to finish games, especially in close games like these."
INSIDE PLAY: BYU's two big guys, Hartsock and Brandon Davies faced a physical Badger team Saturday.
Hartsock scored a team-high 18 points and had a team-high six rebounds while Davies had nine points, four boards and four turnovers to go along with three steals.
Davies was whistled for two fouls early in the contest, forcing him to the bench in the first half.
"I've got to work on foul trouble and not picking up cheap ones in the first couple of minutes," Davies said.
"I thought he was tired," Rose said of Davies. "He was working really hard on both ends of the floor. He had a heckuva job defensively because we tried not to help a lot in the post, and he had that big guy by himself. It took a lot of energy. On the other end, he got a shot block, then he got in a hurry. He got a little frustrated, but I thought he got tired."
Hartsock had 12 family members from Oklahoma at Saturday's game, including a brother who has lives in the Chicago area.
"Noah had a good two games here," Rose said. "Tonight they were really physical with him. I thought he did a nice job of stepping through, hitting shots. Defensively, he rebounded the ball pretty well."
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Hartsock and fellow Cougar Charles Abouo were named to the Chicago Invitational Challenge All-Tournament team.
Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor was named the MVP and was joined on the All-Tournament team by teammates Ben Brust and Jared Berggren. Other members of the All-Tournament team were Prairie View A&M's Jourdan Demuynck, Wofford's Brad Loesing, Longwood's Antwan Carter, UMKC's Reggie Chamberlain, Bradley's Taylor Brown and Nevada's Malik Story.
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