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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: 276500

Reported Deaths: 3321
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin590031089
Ramsey24988472
Anoka19724213
Dakota19215176
Washington12538106
Stearns1226689
Scott753854
St. Louis740897
Wright663436
Olmsted610130
Sherburne512539
Clay445155
Carver409712
Blue Earth373511
Rice361431
Kandiyohi348215
Crow Wing316130
Nobles296028
Chisago28398
Otter Tail266615
Benton261940
Winona246128
Mower236722
Polk228621
Douglas219829
Morrison211621
Lyon193711
McLeod18879
Beltrami184615
Goodhue177626
Becker17559
Itasca168924
Steele16756
Todd165312
Isanti165015
Carlton153610
Nicollet146523
Freeborn13935
Mille Lacs132830
Le Sueur13219
Waseca129710
Cass12018
Pine11926
Brown117510
Meeker10797
Roseau9923
Martin98220
Hubbard97022
Wabasha9121
Dodge7850
Redwood78018
Watonwan7754
Chippewa7697
Sibley7094
Renville70818
Cottonwood7060
Wadena7006
Aitkin68923
Pipestone67018
Rock6439
Houston6152
Fillmore6050
Yellow Medicine56611
Pennington5356
Kanabec52911
Murray5283
Swift4976
Pope4820
Faribault4750
Stevens4442
Clearwater4356
Marshall4277
Jackson4091
Lake3584
Unassigned34356
Koochiching3325
Wilkin3275
Lac qui Parle3203
Lincoln3141
Norman3096
Big Stone2771
Mahnomen2494
Grant2346
Red Lake1903
Kittson1856
Traverse1330
Lake of the Woods871
Cook580

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 213603

Reported Deaths: 2193
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk31707324
Linn13442161
Scott1040375
Black Hawk10393127
Woodbury9932114
Johnson911635
Dubuque879290
Story647619
Dallas602856
Pottawattamie585166
Sioux351925
Webster335930
Marshall332942
Cerro Gordo326541
Clinton307737
Buena Vista291114
Muscatine270366
Des Moines270116
Plymouth259537
Warren258510
Wapello242871
Jones222212
Jasper206639
Marion194418
Carroll190920
Lee190315
Bremer182612
Henry17087
Crawford170615
Benton160315
Tama146340
Jackson13758
Delaware136221
Washington131313
Boone128811
Dickinson127510
Mahaska121327
Wright11625
Buchanan11009
Page10834
Hardin107510
Clay10624
Clayton10234
Harrison102328
Hamilton10157
Cedar101413
Calhoun10047
Mills9886
Fayette9768
Floyd96914
Lyon9668
Kossuth9464
Poweshiek93712
Butler9134
Winneshiek90310
Iowa88011
Winnebago87523
Louisa81316
Hancock8067
Grundy79710
Chickasaw7893
Sac7817
Cherokee7624
Cass75419
Appanoose7426
Shelby7265
Allamakee72411
Mitchell7184
Union7096
Guthrie70815
Emmet70623
Franklin68419
Humboldt6645
Madison6474
Jefferson6351
Palo Alto6064
Unassigned5950
Keokuk5397
Pocahontas5192
Howard5069
Greene4980
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Davis4405
Ida43910
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Taylor4312
Monroe42912
Adair4157
Monona3932
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