Bryant McIntosh scored 25 points and added 7 rebounds and 7 assists as the Northwestern Wildcats knocked off the 5/7 ranked Wisconsin Badgers 66-59 on Sunday night at the Kohl Center.
It’s a big win for the Wildcats, who are trying to secure a bid to their first-ever NCAA tournament. Northwestern beat Wisconsin for the second straight year and third time in the last five meetings.
The race for the Big Ten title drew closer as well. Wisconsin’s loss means the Badgers have just a one game lead over both Maryland and Purdue.
Followers of Wisconsin basketball could see this coming. The Badgers (21-4, 10-2 Big Ten) struggled with their shooting over the past four games (37% FG & 25% 3-point FG).
In last night’s loss, the Badgers shot 38% from the field (19 of 51). The Badgers average 11.4 turnovers a game and had 12 last night, but the Wildcats scored 16 points off of those Wisconsin miscues.
The Wildcats game plan was to double team Ethan Happ and their game plan worked. Happ was held to 9 points. Bronson Koenig hit just 1 of 8 shots from the field and missed all five of his three point attempts, finishing with just 2 points.
Northwestern (19-4, 8-4 Big Ten) closed the first half on a 19-3 run. They saw the Badgers open the second half on a 10-0 run of their own to take the lead back, but the Wildcats responded with a 8-0 run of their own to recapture the lead and never trail again.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Badgers. They’ll travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan on Thursday to face the Wolverines.