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Wisconsin G Kamari McGee stole the show in long-awaited return to action

Wisconsin finally returned to the win column Thursday night with a 78-66 triumph over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

Things were dicey for the Badgers early. Rutgers somehow again shot well above its season average, something which led to the Scarlet Knights’ blowout win over the Badgers back in February.

Wisconsin ended up trailing 47-42 with 13:56 remaining in the contest, closing in on another inexplicable loss.

Then Kamari McGee happened.

Related: Wisconsin social media reacts to Badgers resilient win vs Rutgers

McGee checked in at that 13:56 mark. He checked out with 7:45 remaining after scoring nine quick points on 4/4 shooting, and with Wisconsin leading 59-49.

The Badgers got solid efforts from A.J. Storr, Steven Crowl and John Blackwell. But nobody played more critical minutes than McGee, who had been out with injury for the last 50 days.

The backup guard finished with 11 points on 5/5 shooting and 1/1 from three. The numbers are impressive, but they still don’t do justice to how critical his play was in those six minutes late in the second half.

Badgers fans postgame were crowning him as the reason the team will make a run in March, and I don’t necessarily blame them.

Wisconsin had dearly missed McGee’s veteran presence and ability to lead the offense during his 13 games on the sideline. It’s worth noting what Greg Gard’s team has accomplished this year when fully healthy, which it is now entering postseason play.

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Story originally appeared on Badgers Wire