To say the Badgers (16-3, 3-3) did anything but fall flat in Minnesota would be lying.
Another 20-point effort from sophomore forward Sam Dekker, combined with a season-low turnover total, still didn’t bode well for the Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team, Wednesday.
Staring in the face of only their 6th, three-game losing streak in the Bo Ryan era, the Badgers never could find the lead inside Williams Arena and their rival Golden Gophers, falling in their third straight Big Ten matchup, 68-81.
Letting Minnesota’s bigs, particularly Maurice Walker, do almost whatever they wanted inside, to the tune of being outscored 48-24 in the paint, the Badgers struggled to battle back from outside, going 5-of-20 from behind the three point line.
Walker finished with a career high 18-points in 24 minutes. Much of that coming in the first half where he rolled off 12-straight Gophers points at one point.
Wisconsin would cut the lead to as little as two points after freshman Bronson Koening drained a three to make it 30-28 Minnesota.
That is as close as Bucky would come as Wisconsin had no answer for a 67% Minnesota shooting performance in the final 20 minutes.
Minnesota was perfect from the foul line (11-11) and hit all three of their attempts from long distance in the second half to battle what little offense Wisconsin could muster in their comeback attempt.
Behind Dekker’s 20-points, freshman Nigel Hayes added 12. Josh Gasser and Frank Kaminsky each chipped in with nine followed by eight from Ben Brust and seven from Trae Jackson.
Minnesota’s bench outscored Wisconsin 41-15, largely due to Walker (18) and Malik Smith, who added 14 points.