MADISON — The Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team (19-5 overall, 10-4 Big Ten) was back home at the Kohl Center Saturday afternoon for a matchup with Rutgers. Coming off of a huge road win over Michigan State, the Badgers were looking to stay tied atop the Big Ten standings against the surging Scarlet Knights.
In a game featuring 12 lead changes, Rutgers was able to ride some hot shooting to take down the Badgers by eight.
Wisconsin falls to Rutgers at the Kohl Center 73-65.— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) February 12, 2022
Tyler Wahl added 23 points, but the Scarlet Knights shot 51% from the floor and 58% from three.
Rutgers would grab an early lead in the opening minutes and, by the first media timeout, the Scarlet Knight would hold a four-point lead thanks to second-chance points and some hot shooting. Leading scorer Ron Harper Jr, would pick up his second foul just under three minutes into the game, however.
Led by Tyler Wahl, the Badgers would stay within striking distance despite not recording back-to-back stops until just before the second media timeout. The hot shooting Scarlet Knights were up by four at that point.
A big three by Chucky Hepburn would cut the deficit to only one, but with Harper Jr. back on the court, Rutgers would respond with three-straight makes to re-establish a seven-point lead midway through the first half.
Poor free-throw shooting by the Badgers and continued hot shooting on contested jumpers by Rutgers would allow the Scarlet Knights to maintain their lead.
Wisconsin would go on a quick 7-0 run spearheaded by Johnny Davis over the next few minutes, but a Harper Jr. and-one would help slow Wisconsin run to give Rutgers a five-point edge with 3:48 left in the half.
The Badgers would continue to chip away though, and by the two-minute mark, they would snag their first lead of the game on a pair of Brad Davison free throws.
It did not last long though, as Wisconsin did not score over the final two minutes of the half, allowing Rutgers to take a three-point lead into halftime.
Wisconsin would come out of halftime playing well and grab a lead shortly after the first media timeout behind six points from 7-footer Steven Crowl. Rutgers would have an answer though, and by the next media timeout with 11:44 remaining the Scarlet Knights were up 53-50.
Back-to-back makes by Davis would help propel the Badgers back on top over the next minute of action, and by the next media timeout, Wisconsin would still be up 58-57 with 6:17 to play.
The Badgers would go scoreless with some backbreaking turnovers for the next four minutes, as Rutgers managed to close out the game with an eight-point win.
Notable stat lines:
- Tyler Wahl —> 23 points (9-of-14 from the floor), three rebounds, two assists
- Steven Crowl —> 12 points (5-of-6 from the floor), five rebounds, three assists
- Ron Harper Jr. (Rutgers) —> 21 points (6-of-13 from the floor), six rebounds, two assists
- Paul Mulcahy (Rutgers) —> 18 points (6-of-9 from the floor), five rebounds, five assists
Up next: The Badgers will be back in action on Tuesday for a road tilt against Indiana. Tip time is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT and the game will be aired on ESPN2.