The Wisconsin Badgers ran their win streak to six-straight games, holding off the rival Minnesota Gophers 71-69 on Sunday night at the Kohl Center.
Minnesota native Brad Davison scored 20 points and added seven rebounds and five assists for the Badgers. Davison took his turn in a lineup that has featured five different top point producers during the winning streak.
Senior Brevin Pritzl, who scored 15 points on Sunday, started the winning streak by leading the Badgers with 19 points against Ohio State. Davison followed that with a 30 point performance against Nebraska. Aleem Ford led the way with 19 against Purdue. Micah Potter took his turn with 18 points against Rutgers. D’Mitrik Trice, who managed just four points on Sunday, scored 28 in a win over Michigan and Davison bounced back with 20 against the Gophers. That’s five different top scorers during the six-game stretch.
After a slow start to the season offensively, Davison is starting to heat up. He has scored in double figures in four of the last five games, averaging just under 17 points a game during that stretch.
The Badgers (19-10, 12-6 Big Ten) moved back into a tie for second place with Michigan State (20-9, 12-6) and Illinois (20-9, 12-6), just one game behind Maryland (23-6, 13-5) with two games left.
The last time the Badgers lost was at Minnesota, 70-52 on February against the Gophers.
Daniel Oturu poured in 26 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to lead the Gophers. Marcus Carr hit 9 of 13 shots and finished with 21.
After leading most of the way, the Badgers fell behind in the final couple of minutes. Down 66-62 in the final two minutes, Davison hit a pair of free throws to cut the Gophers lead to two. After Minnesota came up empty, Davison missed a three-pointer but the Badgers scrambled for the loose ball and eventually found Brevin Pritzl in the corner for a three-pointer which put the Badgers back in front by one.
The Gophers then went back up 68-67 on a Daniel Oturu jumper. After a Wisconsin timeout, D’Mitrik Trice found Aleem Ford on a backdoor cut for a dunk and a 69-68 lead with 30 second left.
The Gophers went back to Oturu, but Nate Reuvers forced a miss with a strong defensive play. Brevin Pritzl pulled down the rebound, was fouled and hit a pair of free throws.
The Gophers would manage one of four free throws in the final seconds as the Badgers survived. Their six-game win streak is the longest current win streak in the Big Ten.
The win for Badgers coach Greg Gard is also his 99th in Madison.
Wisconsin has two games left, including the final home game of the season against Northwestern on Wednesday night at the Kohl Center. They’ll close out the Big Ten regular season at Indiana on Saturday in Bloomington.