Men's basketball

Badgers storm back to take down unbeaten NC State 79-75 in Big Ten-ACC challenge

Despite clutch late shots from sophomore guard D'Mitrik Trice, Wisconsin lost 84-80 to Purdue in overtime. 

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

With 16 seconds remaining, the Badgers finally took the game by its reins.

Sophomore guard Brad Davison took his fourth charge of the game, this time on the Wildcats’ talisman Markell Johnson, and from there the Badgers had enough to eke out a 79-75 win in its toughest home contest of the season.

The Badgers (0-0 Big Ten, 6-1 overall) led for just three minutes and 42 seconds of the game as they fought off early turnovers and a rangy Wolfpack team that just wouldn’t go away.

North Carolina State (0-0 ACC, 6-1 overall) out-rebounded the Badgers, beating them 36-30 on the boards and routinely sapping the momentum out of the Kohl Center. They were led in scoring by junior Johnson, who finished with 21 points.

Still, the Badgers managed to grab their sixth win of the season.

The Badgers started poorly, with four turnovers in the first five minutes of the contest. They largely cleaned up their act thereafter but still struggled with the pace of the NC State offense as the Wolfpack routinely created open looks and jumped out to a seven-point halftime lead.

Wisconsin improved after the break, going six of 11 from deep and shooting a robust 62.1 percent from the field. Sophomores D’Mitrik Trice and Aleem Ford both finished with four made three-point field goals.

But Wisconsin didn’t retake the lead until one minute and six seconds remained in the game as senior forward Ethan Happ split a pair of free throws to give the Badgers a 74-73 lead.

On the next possession, Trice nailed a midrange jumper to extend the Badgers’ lead to three, and they never let the lead slip from there.

Happ finished the game with yet another double-double, tallying 18 points and 11 boards in a difficult game.

The Badgers will want to clean up their 11 turnovers and have some questions to ask about their rebounding.

But tonight, at least, they had enough to win.

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