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Wisconsin Men’s Basketball: Badgers knock off 13th ranked Maryland in Big Ten Opener

A huge win for Greg Gard and Co.

Maryland v Wisconsin Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

The energy was high for Wisconsin men’s basketball after their win over Marquette, and the Badgers looked to keep that momentum going as they took on Maryland Tuesday night.

Entering the game Maryland was undefeated and had trailed for just 8 minutes all season. Additonally, they were one of the top offensive teams in the country in terms of efficiency. However, the Badgers put the clamps down on the Terps and held Maryland 32 below their season average in a 64-59 victory.

The Badgers started the game strong on the offensive end as they got on a stretch where they knocked down five of six shots and extended their lead out to seven points. Eventually, the Badgers stretched things to a double-digit lead but the Terps came crawling back.

Late in the first half Maryland would go on an 8-0 run, and eventually drew back to down just a point after the Badger offense struggled to knock down anything for the last five minutes of the first half. Going into halftime the Badgers lead sat at 31-29.

Coming out to the 2nd half Wisconsin fell behind and when it felt like Wisconsin really needed a bucket Chucky Hepburn came up big with a 3-point shot for the Badgers. The two teams then traded buckets for much of the 2nd half.

Late in the half things were tied at 45 when freshman guard Connor Essegain came up big once again and knocked down a 3-pointer with just under 8 minutes to go. Later, Essegian would hit another big three to give the Badgers an 8-point lead late in the contest.

Eventually, Chucky Hepburn hit Maryland with the dagger as he knocked down another late three-pointer to extend the lead to 9 with four to play. Maryland made a couple of shots to make it a closer game but it felt like Wisconsin had it under control in the late stages. When the clock struck 0.0 the Badgers had their first Big Ten win, and a huge win over a top 15 team.

Leading the way for the Badgers in scoring was Chucky Hepburn who scored 13. After that, Steven Crowl was 2nd with 12 points while Carter Gilmore put in 7.

The Badgers will return to action on Sunday as they head to Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes in the second of their early Big Ten games.