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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Jordan Ford scored 26 points, Malik Fitts added 16 and No. 20 Saint Mary's hung on to beat Wisconsin 65-63 in overtime in the season opener for both teams on Tuesday night.
Saint Mary's led the entire second half before Wisconsin closed the gap and took a brief lead in overtime. But Fitts' basket with 55 seconds to play gave the Gaels the lead for good.
Freshman Kyle Bowen hit 1 of 2 free throws with 4.4 seconds remaining for the Gaels, and Wisconsin had a chance to win it, but Aleem Ford's deep 3-pointer at the buzzer was short.
Nate Reuvers tied a career high with 22 points and Brad Davison scored 16 for Wisconsin.
It was the Gaels' first visit to the Sanford Pentagon, which will also welcome Minnesota and Oklahoma for a game on Saturday.
The Badgers shot 42.3% from the field while the Gaels finished at 39.3%. Saint Mary's out-rebounded Wisconsin 36-28, including 13 on the offensive end, led by Mattias Tass with rebounds.
Saint Mary's: The Gaels led 30-20 on Ford's 3-pointer late in the first half but let that advantage slip away. Saint Mary's was the second-ranked team in the West Coast Conference in the preseason, behind No. 8 Gonzaga.
Wisconsin: The Badgers were picked to finish sixth out of 14 teams in the Big Ten. Their conference opener is Dec. 7 against Indiana.
Saint Mary's hosts Winthrop on Monday.
Wisconsin is home to Eastern Illinois on Friday.
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