The University of Minnesota men's basketball team (8-5, 0-2) lost 66- 50 to Wisconsin (11-4, 1-2) today at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. With an adjusted starting line-up, the Gophers finished the first half down by just three points; however, a rocky second half resulted in the 16-point victory for Wisconsin.
The Gophers shooting suffered going just 21-of-58 from the field for 36 percent, while the Badgers were 25-of-55 for 45.5 percent. Free throw shooting was much of the same for the Maroon and Gold with 43 percent on 3-of-7 shooting from the line.
The second half opened with a 9-3 Wisconsin run to give them a nine point lead just under three minutes into the half. Two jumpers from Rick Rickert and a Michael Bauer layup brought the Gophers within five at the 12:40 mark. Yet, the Badgers were overpowering from that point on, outscoring Minnesota 23-12 and bringing their lead as high as 18 with just seconds remaining in the half. Minnesota was never able to gain the lead and only forced one tie throughout the game.
In the first half, the Gophers got off to a rough start falling behind 12-4 just over five minutes into the half. But, a 7-0 Minnesota run brought them within one at the 11:41 mark. Wisconsin was able to regain the lead and hold on until a smooth Steve Esselink three-pointer tied the game at 26 with just 1:35 remaining in the half. The Maroon and Gold finished the half down by just three after the Badgers' Devin Harris scored three unanswered points in the final seconds.
Leading the way for Minnesota was Rickert with 14 points and five rebounds. Bauer had 10 points and eight boards and Jeff Hagen added eight points and four rebounds. The bench was key for Minnesota bringing in 27 points and 18 rebounds.
Wisconsin was led by Kirk Penney with 22 points and seven rebounds. Harris added a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Next up for the Golden Gophers is the Michigan State Spartans, Saturday, January 18 at 1:00 p.m. at Williams Arena.