The Wisconsin Badgers extended their Big Ten win streak to three, knocking off Northwestern 70-64 Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.
Ethan Happ led four Badgers in double figures with 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists, three blocks and four steals. Fifteen of his 19 points came in the second half.
Junior forward Khalil Iverson added 16 points and 6 rebounds, but the surprise in the group came from big man Andy Van Vliet, who scored 14 points in the win.
Van Vliet entered the night having played just 14 minutes in four Big Ten games and a total of 94 minutes in 13 games overall. Thursday night, Van Vliet hit 4 of 6 from three-point range as Coach Greg Gard attempted to pull Northwestern out of its zone defense. The plan worked as the Wildcats picked up the Badgers in man-to-man in the second half.
Wisconsin hit just 7 of 26 three-pointers in the teams’ first meeting in Madison. The Wildcats jumped out to an 18-1 lead and beat UW 60-52. The Badgers adjusted and returned the favor Thursday night.
Sophomore guard Brevin Pritzl added 11 points and hit a crucial three pointer to give the Badgers a 68-64 lead with 27 seconds left to play.
Wisconsin (14-16, 7-10 Big Ten) secured the No. 9 seed for next week’s Big Ten Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Badgers will open the tournament in the second round against the No. 8 seed, Maryland (19-11, 8-9) at 11 a.m. on Thursday.
Maryland won the only matchup with the Badgers during the regular season, 68-63.
The Badgers will close out the regular season at home on Sunday afternoon against Michigan State at the Kohl Center. The Spartans have already clinched a share of the Big Ten title. They can win it outright with a victory over the Badgers on Sunday.
Scott Lindsey had 26 points and Bryant McIntosh added 18, two of the Wildcats three seniors that played their final home game.