Men's basketball: No. 14 Wisconsin ekes out victory over Minnesota

Wisconsin (11-2, 3-0 Big Ten) played most of the game without Tyler Wahl, the team's leading scorer and rebounder.

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Wisconsin
Wisconsin guard Chucky Hepburn (23) dribbles the ball while defended by Minnesota guard Ta'lon Cooper on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, in Madison, Wisconsin.
Kayla Wolf / USA Today Sports

MADISON, Wis. -- Steven Crowl scored 17 points and Chucky Hepburn added 16 as No. 14 Wisconsin held off Minnesota 63-60 in a Big Ten matchup on Tuesday night.

Minnesota, which trailed by 15 early in the second half, pulled within 54-53 on Jamison Battle's layup with 8:34 left to cap an 11-0 run. The Gophers then missed their next seven field-goal attempts before Dawson Garcia's layup cut the gap to 63-58 with 48 seconds left.

Ta'Lon Cooper's layup brought the Gophers within 63-60 with 27 seconds left. Minnesota rebounded Crowl's missed free throw with nine seconds remaining, but Hepburn came up with a steal before the Gophers could get off a last-second shot.

Wisconsin (11-2, 3-0 Big Ten) played most of the game without Tyler Wahl, the team's leading scorer and rebounder. Wahl left with 11:10 in the first half and did not return due to what was announced as a lower-body injury. Wahl made just 1 of 5 shots and had two points and two rebounds before departing.

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Wisconsin
Minnesota forward Dawson Garcia shoots the ball over Wisconsin forward Markus Ilver on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, in Madison, Wisconsin.
Kayla Wolf / USA Today Sports

Cooper scored 16 points, Garcia 14 and Battle 13 for Minnesota (6-7, 0-3 Big Ten). The Gophers played for the first time in 12 days after their previous scheduled game was canceled due to travel-related issues.


Freshman Connor Essegian added 11 points off the bench for Wisconsin, which won its sixth straight game. The Badgers scored 21 points off 20 Minnesota turnovers.

Minnesota had a 40-24 edge on the boards, including 11 offensive rebounds for a 12-0 advantage in second-chance points.

Crowl hit a 3-pointer and scored underneath to cap a 7-0 run at the start of the second half, putting Wisconsin up 39-26. Battle sank consecutive 3-pointers that brought the Gophers within 49-42 with 13:10 remaining.

Among a large group of Vikings staff at Pro Day on Wednesday were GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell
Two from each of the men's hoops and football teams are looking for a new home
Minnesota fell in the second round of the Big Ten tournament
Minnesota will play No. 6 seed Maryland at approximately 8 p.m. Thursday.
Battle was the second-leading scorer for Minnesota this season
The Gophers haven’t been winning, but their coach finally seems to have the young core she’s been seeking
Three-star point guard from Iron, Minn., gave a verbal commitment to the Gophers
Minnesota trailed Rutgers by 10 points with 75 seconds remaining
The former Minnesota All-American and WNBA champion leaves with overall mark of 71-76, 32-58 in the Big Ten
Gophers’ latest loss overshadowed by recruit Dennis Evans’ exit.

Wisconsin closed the first half with an 8-0 run for a 32-26 lead at the break as the Gophers went scoreless over the final 3:10.

Crowl, a junior who had a career-high 25 points in the Badgers' 76-66 win over Western Michigan on Friday, picked up two fouls 13 seconds apart and sat the final 5:53 of the half.

Minnesota hit just one of its first nine shots but then scored on four consecutive possessions for an early 13-9 lead.



This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

What To Read Next
Get Local