Madison, WI. The rejuvenated Northwestern Wildcats came into the Badgers’ den at the Kohl Center needing a “W” to add to their resume as they seek to be in the “Big Dance” for the first time in school history. Winners of just one of the previous 14 games in Madison, the Cats left the stunned Badgers licking their wounds and questioning their soon-to-go-down #7 national ranking.
With Bryant McIntosh scoring a game-high 25 points, the Wildcats dominated all phases of the game save for Badger 10-0 runs to start each half. The rest of the game was a 66-39 Northwestern blowout.
Over the last few games, the Badgers had struggled to outlast clearly inferior opponents, over-relying on sophomore center Ethan Happ to bail them out. Tonight, against the talented and well-coached Wildcats, that caught up with them. Even absent leading scorer Scottie Lindsey, the Wildcats were able to hold Happ to 9 points (only 2 after halftime) by double and triple teaming him. While this should have left plenty of other Badgers open to pick up the slack, none was able to step up.
Senior forward Nigel Hayes led the Badgers with 13 points, while Vito Brown and D’Metrik Price each chipped in 11. The Badgers turned the ball over 12 times to the Wildcats 6.
The Wildcats moved to 8-4 in the conference, 19-6 overall. Meanwhile, the Badgers fell to 20-4, 10-2 Big Ten, but remained in first place.
Wisconsin will travel to Ann Arbor to play Michigan on Thursday night. Meanwhile, the Cats will host #21 Maryland on Wednesday.