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Gophers slip past Badgers, 59-52

Minnesota wins in Madison.

Posted: Jan 4, 2019 7:20 AM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Minnesota coach Richard Pitino dared No. 22 Wisconsin to beat the Golden Gophers from the 3-point arc and the free throw line.

The Badgers weren't up to the challenge.

Amir Coffey scored 21 points and Minnesota put Wisconsin in an early hole before holding off a furious rally to win 59-52 on Thursday night. The Gophers (12-2, 2-1 Big Ten) ended an eight-game losing streak in the rivalry with their first victory at Wisconsin since 2009.

Minnesota held the Badgers to 14 percent shooting from 3-point range in the first half while building a double-digit lead. The Gophers then hung on as Wisconsin missed late opportunities at the foul line.

Pitino said a key part of his strategy was double-teaming Wisconsin leading scorer Ethan Happ in the post and then intentionally fouling him late.

Happ led the Badgers with 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field, but he was just 1 for 7 at the line. And the Badgers, who came in shooting 39.1 percent from 3-point territory, second-best in the Big Ten, went only 5 of 22 in this one.

"He's such a unique, terrific player," Pitino said of Happ, who came in shooting 52 percent from the foul line. "You have to do something or he's going to torch you."

Coffey scored 15 straight Minnesota points in the first half as the Gophers opened a 29-14 lead at the break. He also made a key shot to end the final threat from Wisconsin (10-4, 2-1).

The Badgers still had a chance late even as they failed to convert free throws. That included a stretch of going 3 of 10 in the second half after cutting the deficit to seven with just more than eight minutes to go. Happ started the woes at the foul line by missing the front end on consecutive 1-and-1 situations, and the Badgers finished 7 of 17 after coming in shooting 69 percent as a team.

Happ's steal and dunk coupled with D'Mitrik Trice's floater, however, trimmed the margin to 49-47 with two minutes left.

But then Coffey hit a runner and Dupree McBrayer turned steals on back-to-back possessions into points as Minnesota pushed the lead back to eight.

It marked an uncharacteristic lack of discipline with the ball for the Badgers, who entered third in the NCAA with an average of just nine turnovers per game. They also set a season low for points in the first half as they shot only 23 percent from the field over the first 20 minutes.

"There's not making shots, and there's what we had in the first half," coach Greg Gard said. "That's a whole other level."

WINTER BREAKS

It was the second sports streak Minnesota halted this season against its archrival. The football team snapped a 13-game skid against the Badgers in November, also beating Wisconsin on the road.

OH, REALLY?

Wisconsin guard Brad Davison was called for a technical foul in the first half after he missed a layup while taking heavy contact. No foul was called and he slapped the floor with both hands after hitting the deck. It was Davison's second foul in the first half, and Coffey converted one of the two ensuing free throws. Gard said he was told Davison slapping the floor was considered an unsportsmanlike gesture, though the coach sounded dubious about the explanation. "I don't know. I'll have to do some research to find that one in the rule book," he said.

BIG PICTURE

Minnesota: Notched its first quality road win of the season.

Wisconsin: Unable to bounce back at home after losing 83-76 to Western Kentucky on the road last week.

UP NEXT

Minnesota: Hosts Maryland on Tuesday.

Wisconsin: Plays at Penn State on Sunday.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 485655

Reported Deaths: 6558
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1007641586
Ramsey43106801
Dakota36297390
Anoka33293385
Washington22078256
Stearns18734201
St. Louis14805262
Scott13290107
Wright12526115
Olmsted1178988
Sherburne872872
Carver772640
Clay691587
Rice670491
Blue Earth594735
Kandiyohi579574
Crow Wing520681
Chisago499045
Otter Tail482170
Benton446490
Winona418349
Mower404731
Douglas392668
Nobles387047
Goodhue385768
Polk343162
McLeod339349
Beltrami337951
Morrison324547
Itasca313046
Lyon313044
Becker311342
Isanti306154
Steele300411
Carlton300149
Pine282016
Freeborn280723
Nicollet258641
Todd248030
Brown245037
Le Sueur235320
Mille Lacs227447
Cass220024
Waseca208717
Meeker207434
Martin189528
Wabasha18653
Roseau180217
Hubbard160640
Houston157314
Dodge15224
Renville149640
Redwood147027
Fillmore13728
Chippewa136335
Cottonwood134820
Pennington134416
Wadena130920
Faribault123017
Aitkin118833
Sibley117310
Watonwan11738
Rock115714
Kanabec107519
Pipestone101424
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9448
Jackson93510
Swift87918
Pope8045
Marshall77815
Stevens7418
Lake74018
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68416
Wilkin67110
Koochiching61811
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5062
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned46768
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40921
Red Lake3625
Traverse3055
Lake of the Woods2191
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 362827

Reported Deaths: 5440
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58260551
Linn20670313
Scott18318210
Black Hawk16258292
Woodbury14979211
Johnson1384874
Dubuque13562194
Dallas1138690
Pottawattamie10791143
Story1024945
Warren556674
Clinton543784
Cerro Gordo533782
Webster519587
Marshall497272
Sioux494869
Buena Vista474537
Des Moines458861
Muscatine452291
Wapello4345108
Jasper417766
Plymouth395378
Lee375452
Marion359169
Jones294154
Henry293337
Carroll286249
Bremer280854
Crawford275135
Boone259730
Washington254347
Benton253854
Mahaska224746
Jackson221638
Dickinson217840
Tama213765
Kossuth208555
Clay193625
Hamilton192142
Delaware189140
Winneshiek189127
Buchanan185729
Fayette185235
Page183319
Hardin181439
Wright179931
Harrison179469
Cedar178523
Clayton168154
Butler167231
Mills163020
Floyd162741
Cherokee154836
Madison154718
Poweshiek154330
Hancock147130
Allamakee146747
Lyon145941
Iowa145023
Appanoose139247
Grundy139230
Jefferson138734
Winnebago138631
Cass134751
Calhoun133811
Mitchell130940
Louisa128241
Union126631
Chickasaw125215
Sac124618
Emmet121740
Shelby121733
Franklin118319
Humboldt117925
Guthrie116628
Palo Alto105221
Montgomery104136
Howard102921
Clarke100420
Unassigned9900
Keokuk98229
Monroe93328
Adair92128
Ida91432
Pocahontas85419
Davis83123
Monona81627
Greene77510
Lucas74021
Osceola70615
Worth6997
Taylor66612
Fremont5909
Decatur5829
Van Buren56118
Ringgold52320
Wayne48921
Audubon4889
Adams3274
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