The No. 13 Wisconsin Badgers (22-5, 13-4 B1G) take down arch rival the Minnesota Golden Gophers (13-13, 4-13 B1G), 68-67, inside Williams Arena tonight! Wisconsin now leads the border battle series 105-104.
Wisconsin is now 13-1 in games decided by six points or less.
The Minnesota natives, Steven Crowl and Tyler Wahl were great tonight.
Crowl finished with a game-high 20 points on 7-of-9 from the field, quite a few of those were big buckets in the second half, with seven rebounds and an assist.
Wahl finished with a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, three assists and a steal. Minnesota did a great job of locking up Wahl in the second half, as he committed four second half turnovers, including two offensive fouls.
But the Junior forward (Wahl) had six offensive rebounds, including a HUGE tap out with 23 seconds remaining, that effectively allowed Wisconsin to ice the game.
Johnny Davis finished with 12 points on 3-of-9 from the field, nine rebounds, three assists and a steal. Johnny still gets no respect from the refs.
Johnny did foul out with 2:35 remaining, the question was who will step up for the Badgers?
Jordan Davis gave the Badgers 20 fantastic minutes off the bench. He scored probably the most important bucket of the game after his twin brother Johnny fouled out, Brad Davison drove and had a perfect dish to a cutting Jordan for a layup to take a 64-62 lead with 2:19 remaining.
Jordan finished with seven points on a perfect 3-for-3 from the field, including making his only 3-point attempt, while grabbing two rebounds and two assists.
His last assist came on a Crowl banker with the shock clock expiring to give UW a 66-62 lead with 1:20 remaining.
The Badgers were in desperate need of some quality backcourt minutes tonight with Jahcobi Neath and Lorne Bowman out tonight. Wisconsin got that and more from Jordan Davis whose scoring was not only welcomed, but necessary to hold off the Gophers. I feel pretty confident in saying that nobody feels better about Jordan getting his turn in the spotlight than Johnny Davis.
I’m extremely happy about Jordan Davis playing his tail off tonight because the kid has taken a lot of crap from people.
Jordan Davis hadn’t scored since January 9th, as he’s played limited minutes. In the 20 minutes Jordan was on the floor, UW outscored Minnesota by 11.
Brad Davison struggled from the field (2-for-8) but he hit two clutch free throws in the final minute.
Wisconsin made 24-of-47 (51.1%) from the field, 5-of-14 (35.7%) from 3-point range, but were just 15-for-22 (68.2%) from the free throw line. The Badgers had 15 assists, but 12 turnovers. Most of the turnovers came in the second half. The Badgers did dominate the glass and outrebounded Minnesota 38-19 and had 10 offensive rebounds.
It was an ugly start to the second half for Wisconsin. In the first 6:08 of the second half, Wisconsin had seven team fouls and five turnovers in nine possessions.
Defensively the Badgers were better in the second half. In the first half, it wasn’t very good and UW really struggled with dribble penetration from Minnesota.
I will give Ben Johnson credit. I think he’s doing a good job with Minnesota and has them playing the right way and he put together a really good game plan tonight against Wisconsin.
On a side note: the Big Ten officiating continues to be horrendous.
This was a team effort, gritty win for the Badgers.
The No. 13 Wisconsin Badgers will travel to Piscataway, New Jersey to play the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (16-11, 10-7 B1G) inside Jersey Mike’s Arena on Saturday, February 26th. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:00 PM (Central Time) and will be televised on the Big Ten Network (BTN).