MINNEAPOLIS — The No. 13 Wisconsin Badgers (22-5 overall, 13-4 Big Ten) went on the road, to the always hostile Williams Arena, and beat the Minnesota Golden Gophers (13-13 overall, 4-13 Big Ten), 68-67.
Border Battle Season Sweep pic.twitter.com/v9EGwiXgCz— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) February 24, 2022
The early part of this game was defined by how little defense both teams were interested in playing. The Gophers made nine of their first 12 shots and were able to pretty much get whatever shot they wanted. UW started off a bit more slowly, but still ended up shooting 56% in the first half, compared to Minnesota’s 52%.
Wisconsin was dominant in the paint over the first 20 minutes, scoring 24 points, which was twice as many as Minnesota scored, there with Tyler Wahl and Steven Crowl looking especially effective.
Wahl scored 10 points (5-of-9 shooting) on a variety of post moves in the first half and it didn’t matter which defender the Gophers sent at him. They tried to body him with bigger players and Wahl just looped shots right over their head. Crowl had 10 points (4-of-5 shooting) as well and added four rebounds (two offensive) while making a big three pointer to tie the game at 20 halfway through the half.
Jamison Battle for the Gophers was cooking all first half, scoring from every level and making Wahl, a stout defender, look foolish at points. Battle ended the half with a game-high 14 points.
The Badgers didn’t take their second lead of the game, and first since it was 1-0, until 7:02 left in the half on the second of three straight Wahl paint buckets. Wisconsin didn’t trail for the rest of the half and went into the break up 38-36.
HALFTIME SCORE:— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) February 24, 2022
UW 38 - UM 36
Tyler Wahl has 10 points as does Steven Crowl.
Jamison Battle has 14 for the Gophers.
The second half started off with more of the same for Wahl as he stole the ball at the top of the key and streaked down the floor for a dunk. After that there was a flurry of scoring by both teams and then over two and a half minutes where nobody scored. What DID happen, however, was a ton of fouls were called.
Big Ten officials found a way to fully insert themselves into the second half of this game, calling ticky tack fouls on both teams, leading to each team being in the bonus for a ton of the game and to Johnny Davis fouling out with 2:35 left in the game after picking up his fourth and fifth fouls in the span of 15 seconds.
#Badgers are up 66-62 with 1:03 left and the Gophers call timeout.— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) February 24, 2022
BIG BY GOD STEVE!
After Payton Willis made a free throw to tie it at 62, Jordan Davis made a nice cut for a layup and then on the following possession Crowl made a beautiful bank shot as the shot clock expired. After a missed layup by Chucky Hepburn with around 20 seconds left, Wahl tapped the ball back out to Davison who called timeout with 18.1 seconds left.
The Maple Grove, Minn. native then made two free throws after the timeout to give Wisconsin a four point lead. The Gophers made a three at the buzzer, to give us the final score of 68-67.
Notable stat lines:
- Jordan Davis —> seven points (3-of-3 from the floor), two rebounds, two assists
- Tyler Wahl —> 12 points (6-of-12 from the floor), 10 rebounds, three assists
- Steven Crowl —> 20 points (7-of-9 from the floor), seven rebounds
- Jamison Battle (Minnesota) —> 17 points (7-of-12 from the floor), four rebounds
Up next: The Badgers continue their road trip with a journey out east, looking for revenge against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Tip-off is at 5 p.m. CT on Big Ten Network.