No. 19 Wisconsin fends off Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS -- Senior forward Ethan Happ recorded 15 points and 13 rebounds for his 15th double-double of the season to lead No. 19 Wisconsin to a 56-51 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday night, Feb. 6, in Big Ten play.
Sophomore guard Brad Davison scored 10 points as the Badgers (17-6, 9-3) won their sixth straight contest. Sophomore forward Nate Reuvers contributed nine points, eight rebounds and seven blocked shots.
Senior forward Jordan Murphy had 16 points and 19 rebounds for his sixth straight double-double and 16th of the campaign for the Golden Gophers (16-7, 6-6). Freshman center Daniel Oturu added 12 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota, which posted a season-low point total.
It was a three-point margin before sophomore guard D'Mitrik Trice drained a 3-pointer to provide the Badgers with a 52-46 lead with 1:44 remaining. Junior guard Brevin Pritzl and Davison each made two free throws in the final 23.3 seconds as Wisconsin closed it out and avenged a disappointing 59-52 home loss to Minnesota on Jan. 3.
The Badgers won despite shooting just 34.6 percent from the field, including 6 of 22 from 3-point range. Wisconsin committed just six turnovers.
The Golden Gophers had nine miscues, shot just 35.1 percent from the field and were 1 of 13 from behind the arc.
Wisconsin led by three at the break before Happ scored two inside baskets to push the lead to 28-21 with 17:39 remaining.
Trice buried a 3-pointer 4 1/2 minutes later to give the Badgers a 35-27 advantage with 13:02 left. Reuvers' layup made it a 10-point margin with 11 minutes to play.
Minnesota answered with the next seven points, pulling within 37-34 on Murphy's three-point play with 9:11 remaining.
The Badgers moved ahead 48-41 when Happ split two free throws with 4:09 left, but the Golden Gophers were back within three when Murphy hit two free throws to pull within 49-46 with 2:11 left.
Wisconsin led 24-21 at halftime despite shooting just 28.1 percent from the field. Minnesota shot 38.5 percent.
Happ's layup gave the Badgers a 14-9 lead with 10:32 remaining. The Golden Gophers recovered to tie the score at 19 on freshman guard Gabe Kalscheur's steal and layup with 5:04 left.
Trice drained a 3-pointer 54 seconds later to help Wisconsin lead at the break. The Badgers weren't whistled for a single first-half foul.