After each team barely suffered its first loss of the season, Wisconsin and Auburn meet Saturday for third place in the South Padre Island Invitational.
On Friday in the tournament semifinals, the seventh-ranked Badgers (4-1) lost 66-64 to Missouri State, while the Tigers (4-1) fell 66-65 to Oklahoma State.
The Badgers took a 62-57 lead on a 3-pointer by Alando Tucker with 5:25 remaining, but couldn’t hold on.
Wisconsin struggled on offense for the second straight game. Tuesday’s 64-52 win over Delaware State was the first time this season the Badgers were held under 70 points.
They had averaged 81 points in the season’s first three games.
Against Missouri State, Wisconsin shot 34 percent (11-for-32) in the first half and 39 percent (22-for-56) for the game. The Badgers also made only 2 of 15 3-point attempts.
“We just had too many missed shots,” Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. “We definitely weren’t shooting that well.”
The Badgers continue to play well on defense, though, holding opponents to 53.4 points per game on the season.
Tucker led the Badgers with 26 points and had a chance to win Friday’s game. After a missed shot by the Bears, Tucker attempted a 3-pointer from the left side that bounced off the rim just before the buzzer.
Michael Flowers was the only other Wisconsin player in double figures, scoring 10 points to go with six assists.
Tucker leads Wisconsin with 21.2 points per game this year, while Flowers is averaging a team-high 4.0 assists.
Ryan, who needs one win to become the 15th active Division I coach with 500, is 116-49 in his sixth season with the Badgers and owns the highest winning percentage of active Division I coaches with at least 20 years experience.
Auburn had a chance to send its semifinal game to overtime in the final 20 seconds, but missed three potential tying 3-pointers before Korvolney Barber put back the third try from underneath the basket with less than a second left to make it 66-65.
Oklahoma State then inbounded the ball and time expired.
Quantez Robertson led Auburn with 18 points against the Cowboys. Three other players scored in double figures for the Tigers, who shot just 22 percent (5-for-22) from beyond the arc.
Robertson came into the game averaging 9.3 points. Frank Tolbert, who leads Auburn with 14.2 points per game, added 13.
Auburn continues to struggle at the free-throw line. The Tigers made 2 of 7 attempts against Oklahoma State, and are shooting just 55 percent from the line for the season.
The Tigers were holding opponents to 61.5 points per game and 34 percent shooting from the field before Friday. Oklahoma State, though, made 50 percent (27-for-53) of its shots.
This is the first meeting between Auburn and Wisconsin.