Badger men hold off late push by Gophers, winning 63-60

MADISON, Wis. - Steven Crowl scored 17 points, Chucky Hepburn had 16 and No. 14 Wisconsin held off Minnesota, 63-60, for its sixth straight win Tuesday night.

Connor Essegian scored 11 points off the bench for the Badgers (11-2, 3-0 Big Ten), who have won 14 of 16 games against Minnesota.

The Badgers struggled with Minnesota's full-court press in the final 38 seconds, and Hepburn turned the ball over at midcourt.

Ta'Lon Cooper hit a layup with 27 seconds to go for the Gophers to trim Wisconsin's lead to 63-60.

Hepburn's fifth steal of the game came with 1 second left. He swatted the ball from Cooper and sealed the Badgers victory.

Cooper scored a team-high 16 points for the Gophers (6-7, 0-3), who were playing their first game in 12 days after a Dec. 29 cancellation.

Dawson Garcia scored 14 points and Jamison Battle had 13 for Minnesota, which had 20 turnovers.

The teams swapped the lead six times in the first half.

Hepburn drained back-to-back 3-pointers, and Max Klesmit closed an 8-0 run with a layup with 1:25 left in the first half to give the Badgers a 32-26 lead at the break.

Badger men hold off late push by Gophers, winning 63-60 - Funny Happy New Years Eve Gifts

Andy Manis / AP

Wisconsin got baskets on three of its first four possessions to open the second half to extend the Badgers lead to 39-26.

But the Gophers refused to give up. Battle drained consecutive 3-pointers - both from the right baseline - to pull Minnesota within seven points at 49-42.

Minnesota strung together an 11-0 run capped by a Battle layup to pull the Gophers within one point with 8:34 to go.

But a banked 3-pointer by Wisconsin's Jordan Davis made it 57-53.


Minnesota: The Gophers struggled to get into a rhythm on offense, due in part, to eight first-half turnovers. Minnesota shot 39% from the field in the first on 11 of 28 shooting. Cooper scored seven first-half points, to go along with two turnovers.

Wisconsin: Hepburn continued to showcase his outside shooting. Hepburn entered Tuesday's game with a 49% shooting clip (25 of 51) from 3-point range. Hepburn shot 3 of 4 from long range against the Gophers.


Minnesota: Hosts Nebraska on Saturday.

Wisconsin: At Illinois on Saturday.

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