Scores

Final OT

(20) Wisconsin 53

(17-8, 8-4 Big Ten)

Minnesota 58

(18-7, 6-6 Big Ten)

Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

7:00 PM ET, February 14, 2013

1 2 OT T
#20WIS 24 25 453
MINN 22 27 958

Top Performers

Wisconsin: S. Dekker 14 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Minnesota: A. Hollins 21 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl

Wisconsin-Minnesota Preview

STATS LLC

Bo Ryan's Wisconsin teams never have been accused of being too flashy, though his current squad seems to have a flare for the dramatics.

Such was the case in an ugly matchup with Minnesota last month.

Coming off an improbable victory, the 20th-ranked Badgers seek a fifth straight win over the struggling Golden Gophers when the Big Ten rivals meet Thursday night in Minneapolis.

Wisconsin's grind-it-out style and defense-first focus has been successful during Ryan's 12-season tenure, and this campaign has been no different. The Badgers (17-7, 8-3) lead the Big Ten allowing 56.5 points per game and have knocked off four ranked teams, including a pair of top-5 foes.

Eight of their 11 conference games have been decided by six points or fewer, including each during a three-game winning streak.

"We have a group of guys in that locker room that believe and is going to fight until the end until you tell us we can't play any more basketball," said forward Jared Berggren, who averages a team-best 11.9 points. "We just find a way to get it done."

That especially was the case Saturday as Ben Brust hit a running half-court shot as the regulation buzzer sounded to tie the game, then buried another big 3-pointer in overtime to help Wisconsin upset then-No. 3 Michigan 65-62.

"It was awesome, something I'll remember forever, and I'm sure a lot of people will," said Brust, who also scored 18 points and hit key free throws down the stretch in a 74-70 double-overtime win over Iowa in the team's previous game Feb. 6.

Even the business-like Ryan couldn't contain his emotion after Brust's buzzer-beater.

"I looked over and saw Coach Ryan actually put his arms up," forward Mike Bruesewitz said. "When he shows a little emotion, it means you've done something special."

Saturday marked yet another tight victory for Wisconsin, a list that includes a 45-44 home win over then-No. 12 Minnesota on Jan. 26. One of the few shots either team hit was Traevon Jackson's 15-footer with four seconds left to give the Badgers the win.

The Gophers (17-7, 5-6) shot 34.8 percent in that contest and have hit less than 40 percent in four of their last six while averaging 56.8 points.

They blew a 12-point first-half lead, trailed at the break and shot 38.0 percent in Sunday's 57-53 home loss to Illinois that dropped then-No. 18 Minnesota out of the Top 25.

"You're not going to win scoring 53 points," said coach Tubby Smith, whose team has dropped six of eight after beginning 15-1.

Andre Hollins scored 16 points and Trevor Mbakwe added 13 and 10 rebounds, though Mbakwe finished with four of the team's 13 turnovers, including a crucial giveaway with less than a minute remaining.

"I think we're trying to do too much," Smith said. "We've talked about it before and it's not being cautious. We found another way to lose the game instead of finding ways to win.

"If we could cut our turnovers in half we should be okay."

The Gophers are averaging 52.5 points and shooting 35.4 percent during their losing streak to the Badgers, who have won 17 of the last 21 meetings.

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School Info

 
WIS
MINN
Conference Big Ten Big Ten
Nickname Badgers Golden Gophers
Type Public Public

2012-13 Season

DATEGAMELINKS
Jan 26, 2013 @WIS 45, MINN 44Recap
» Feb 14, 2013 @MINN 58, WIS 53Recap

Research Notes

After starting the season 15-1, Minnesota has lost 6 of its last 8 games and is 5-6 in the Big Ten. The difference is on the defensive end. Minnesota is forcing 5 fewer turnovers per game and scoring 6 fewer points per game off turnovers. The Gophers held opponents to below 30 percent shooting on 3-point attempts in their first 16 games but are allowing opponents to shoot 43 percent on 3-pointers in their last 8 games.
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NEXT LEVEL: Minnesota is struggling offensively in late-game situations over their last 8 games (2-6 in those 8 games). In the final 5 minutes of the 2nd half and overtime with the score within 5 points, Minnesota is shooting just 35 percent and turning the ball over more than once every 6 plays in their last 8 games. In their first 16 games, they turned it over less than once every 17 plays in "crunch time" situations.
  [+]

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