In the 210th Border Battle, Wisconsin and Minnesota Basketball fought it out at the Kohl Center. Wisconsin was able to hang on for the 63-60 win thanks to clutch defensive stops. Here are some quick hits from this game.
Slow Start To Wisconsin-Minnesota Basketball
It was about as bad of a start for both teams to begin this game. Both teams began shooting 1-8 from the field. It was more shocking for Wisconsin because it was Minnesota’s first game in 12 days.
The first half also had six lead changes. It was back and forth, including an 11-2 run for Minnesota Basketball that resulted in a 13-9 lead. Wisconsin ended the half with an 8-0 run to take a 32-26 lead at the half.
Forward Depth Tested Early vs. Minnesota Basketball
Tyler Wahl injured his ankle early in the game. He did not return. The broadcast mentioned it was a sprain multiple times, although nothing was official from the Badgers.
After Steven Crowl picked up two quick fouls in the first half, we saw a lot of Carter Gilmore and sophomore Markus Ilver in the first half vs. Minnesota Basketball. For a team with little depth at that position, you hope Wahl isn’t out long.
Not A Pretty Second Half
Wisconsin came out on fire in the second half. After building a 15-point second half, Minnesota began to make timely shots and played aggressively on defense. It clearly bothered Wisconsin as they were outworked 40-24 on the boards. This helped Minnesota go on a 22-10 run and get within 57-54.
The Badgers were able to open the lead back to 63-59 in the last few minutes. However, a Chucky Hepburn turnover and a Steven Crowl missed free throw allowed Minnesota Basketball to go for the tie. A great defensive play by Hepburn sealed the win.
Steven Crowl led the Badgers with 17 points. Hepburn added 16 while Connor Essegian chipped in 11. However, Max Klesmit is my MVP. He was fantastic on Jamison Battle. When Klesmit defended Battle, it was hard to get shots up.
After defeating Minnesota Basketball, Wisconsin will travel to Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini. Tip time is 12:30 PM on ESPN2.
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