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Wisconsin men’s basketball: UW holds off Minnesota, 66-60, on Sunday

Johnny Davis adds a double-double to lead the Badgers over the Gophers.

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

MADISON — The Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team (17-3 overall, 8-2 Big Ten) came into Sunday afternoon’s contest with border rival Minnesota looking to keep pace with Illinois and others at the top of the Big Ten Conference standings.

Behind a double-double from Johnny Davis, the Badgers were able to eke out a 66-60 win over the Gophers.

In the opening moments of the game, despite missing some point-blank scoring chances, the Badgers would take advantage of some uncharacteristic turnovers by the Gophers to grab a 7-6 lead at the first media timeout.

Over the next handful of Minnesota would then settle into a 2-3 zone defense, and the Badgers would take advantage. Tyler Wahl, Brad Davison and reserve guard Lorne Bowman would push the Wisconsin lead to 10 points as Wisconsin made four straight shot attempts.

Minnesota would quickly respond though with a 9-0 run as the Badgers went nearly four minutes without scoring. Johnny Davis would end the extended drought on offense for Wisconsin, and by the 2:57 mark, Wisconsin would manage to push their lead back up to three.

In the final minutes of the half, Wahl would make a nifty layup with the seconds remaining to give the Badgers a seven points advantage at halftime.

Both teams would make three of their first five attempts in the game, and by the first media timeout of the second half Wisconsin would hold a 40-34 lead.

The Badgers would proceed to miss six straight shots though, and by the next media timeout Minnesota would tie the game up at 42 apiece. The Gophers went on a 6-0 run in just over a minute time during the stretch with Wahl and Chucky Hepburn on the bench.

After the timeout, Hepburn and Brad Davison would hit back-to-back threes to shift the momentum back in favor of the Badgers. Wahl would pick up his fourth foul with over eight minutes left in the game, but Steven Crowl would hit a pretty left-handed hook shot to maintain the six-point lead into the next media timeout with 7:46 remaining.

Crowl would go on to hit a critical three-pointer moments later with Wahl still on the bench, but Minnesota would cut into the Wisconsin lead over the next few minutes. With 2:38 remaining the Badgers found themselves only up two.

Over the final minutes of the contest, Davis would take over, and ultimately lead the Badgers on a 6-0 run to seal the victory over Minnesota.

Notable stat lines:

  • Johnny Davis —> 16 points (7-of-14 from the floor), 15 rebounds
  • Tyler Wahl —> 15 points (5-of-11 from the floor), three rebounds
  • Brad Davison —> 14 points (5-of-13 from the floor), four rebounds, two assists
  • Payton Willis (Minnesota) —> 17 points (7-of-15 from the floor), three rebounds, two assists

Up next: Wisconsin will take on Illinois on Wednesday night in Champaign. Tip time is set for 8 p.m. CT and the game is scheduled to be aired on BTN.