Happ's triple-double leads Wisconsin past Northwestern
Field Level Media
Ethan Happ notched a triple-double of 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists to lift host Wisconsin to a 62-46 victory against Northwestern in Big Ten play on Saturday afternoon.
D'Mitrik Trice and Brad Davison scored 18 points apiece for the Badgers (14-6, 6-3 Big Ten), who led by as many as 18 points en route to their third straight victory.
Northwestern (12-8, 3-6) did not produce a scorer in double figures as it shot 29.6 percent from the field and registered a season low for points. Anthony Gaines swished two free throws with 5.6 seconds left to finish with eight points, tying Dererk Pardon for the team lead.
Five other Wildcats had six points, including Vic Law, who snagged 11 rebounds. Pardon also collected 11 boards.
Happ had his second triple-double of the season, fueling a Badgers attack that shot 42.9 percent from the field and 47.4 from 3-point land.
Wisconsin maintained control for much of the first half behind disciplined defense and a solid effort from long range. The Badgers forced nine Wildcats turnovers in the first 20 minutes while shooting 6-for-10 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Northwestern entered the game with the best 3-point percentage defense in the conference, at 27.7 percent, but Wisconsin's mix of ball movement and accuracy proved to be potent. Often working against double teams, Happ assisted on five of the Badgers' treys in the first half.
An Aaron Falzon 3-pointer with 6:26 left in the half gave the Wildcats a 22-20 advantage, their first and only lead of the game. The Badgers responded with a 14-2 run to grab a 34-24 lead at the break.
The Northwestern offense continued to struggle after the break, enduring a scoring drought of 6:34 between its final field goal of the first half and its first field goal of the second.
The teams are scheduled to conclude the season series on Feb. 23 in Evanston, Ill. Wisconsin is 117-65 against Northwestern all-time, including 15-3 at the Kohl Center.