Make it six straight wins for Wisconsin.
The Badgers went on the road Wednesday night and beat Minnesota 56-51, avenging an earlier loss at home to the Gophers.
Senior Ethan Happ got off to a slow start but got going in the second half, finishing with a team-high 15 points and 13 rebounds. Cameras caught him blowing kisses and waving goodbye to the Minnesota student section after the final buzzer sounded.
“They’ve been very kind to me over the years,” Happ said with a smile. “I haven’t lost here and I just wanted to thank them for their hospitality. That’s kind of what that was.”
It was Wisconsin’s fourth-straight win in Minneapolis and the ninth win in the last 10 against the Gophers overall.
A pair of players — Brad Davison and Nate Reuvers — were playing in their home state for the first time as members of the Badgers. Davison had 10 points, while Reuvers had nine points, eight rebounds and seven blocked shots.
“It’s a great atmosphere,” Reuvers said. “They’ve got a lot of good fans here. It was a very fun game to play in.”
It was another banner night defensively for Gard’s club. For a seventh time in 12 conference games, the Badgers held an opponent to under 40-percent shooting. Minnesota managed to hit just 35.1-percent of its shots, by far the worst effort for the Gophers in Big Ten play this season.
“That’s huge because we didn’t have a great offensive game tonight,” Reuvers said. “Our defense, we definitely stepped up there and got the win.”
Wisconsin played another relatively clean game, turning the ball over just six times, tied for its lowest total in a Big Ten road game this season. It helped the Badgers move to 5-1 away from the Kohl Center in conference play.
Senior Jordan Murphy led Minnesota with 16 points and 19 rebounds, while freshman Daniel Oturu had 12 points and 11 boards.
The win pushed Wisconsin to 17-6 on the year and 9-3 in Big Ten play. It leaves the Badgers sitting in a third-place tie with Michigan State and just a game back of first-place Michigan, their opponent this Saturday.