MADISON, WI – The Northwestern Wildcats picked up a huge conference win on the road Sunday night as they upset the 7th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers 66-59 at the Kohl Center in Madison. NU’s Bryant McIntosh led all scorers with 25 points on 10-23 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists. UW’s Nigel Hayes led the Badgers with 13 points on 5-11 shooting and added seven rebounds and two assists in 36 minutes.
Big Ten Player of the year nominee Ethan Happ faced a lot of double-teams and struggled to get into a rhythm while finishing with just nine points on 3-8 shooting, seven of which came in the first seven minutes of the game. He did add seven rebounds and a team-high five assists for his effort. Bronson Koenig continues to feel bothered by a leg injury and finished with just two points on 1-8 shooting including 0-5 from downtown while playing 30 minutes.
The Wildcats played with a lot of energy and toughness as they outscored Wisconsin 26-12 in the paint and converted 16 points off 12 Badger turnovers. After being down nine at the half, the Badgers started the second with 10-0 run but the Wildcats always had an answer. After grabbing the lead back with an 8-0 run of their own, Northwestern never looked back as they held on and put an exclamation point on the win with a Sanjay Lumpkin breakaway slam in the final seconds. Lumpkin finished with nine points while Derek Pardon and Vic Law each added 11 points for the Wildcats.
Here are the post-game pressers starting with Northwestern head coach Chris Collins and guard Bryant McIntosh, who talked about how big the win was while having nothing but good things to say about the Badgers and the Wisconsin program.
There was a lot of frustration, to say the least, on the Wisconsin side as they go back to the drawing board. Here’s what head coach Greg Gard had to say after the loss followed by Nigel Hayes, Ethan Happ, and Zak Showalter.
With the win, Northwestern improves to 19-6 on the season and 8-4 in conference play while the Badgers drop to 21-4 and 10-2 in the conference. Despite the loss, the Badgers still lead the Big Ten with a one-game lead over Purdue and Maryland, who sit tied for second at 9-3 in conference play.
Up next: The Badgers play at Michigan on Thursday while Northwestern will host Maryland on Wednesday night.