Wisconsin 69, Northwestern 41

The SportsXchange

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Jared Berggren and Ben Brust each collected 12 points as No. 19 Wisconsin never trailed in a 69-41 Big Ten victory over Northwestern Wednesday.

The Badgers (19-8, 10-4) won their second straight and fourth in five games as Sam Dekker added 10 points before 7,011 fans at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Reggie Hearn scored a game-high 13 points as the Wildcats (13-14, 4-10) slipped under .500 for the first time this season. Northwestern has lost four straight and six of seven.

Wisconsin led 28-12 at halftime and had the game well in hand at 49-25 on Dekker's layup with 10:05 to play.

The Badgers hit their biggest lead of the night, 68-41, on Dan Fahey's two free throws with 30 seconds to play.

The Wildcats never got closer than 17 points in the second half and shot just 15-for-51 (29.4 percent). The Badgers shot 23-for-50 (46.0 percent) and had a 47-22 rebounding edge.

Slumping Northwestern's lone win in its last seven games was a 75-60 decision over Purdue on Feb. 2. Wisconsin's only recent blemish was a 66-62 overtime loss at Minnesota on Feb. 14. They also beat No. 3 Michigan and No. 13 Ohio State in their recent winning run.

Fourteen different Wisconsin players saw minutes and 10 scored.

Wisconsin opened with nine unanswered points -- including four from Berggren -- and never trailed. Northwestern missed six straight shots until Hearn hit a 3-pointer with 14:31 showing.

The Badgers led 21-11 with 3:25 remaining in the half as Berggren scored on a rebound after Brust's off-target 3-point try.

But Brust made up for the miss with 1:58 showing with a 3-pointer from near the left corner as Wisconsin opened its biggest lead to that point at 26-11.

Traevon Jackson hit a buzzer-beating jumper to give the Badgers a 28-12 halftime advantage.

Wisconsin shot 11-for-26 (42.3 percent) in the half and had a lopsided 23-8 rebounding edge. Northwestern managed just 4-for-20 (20 percent) from the field.

NOTES: Wisconsin continues to lead the Big Ten in scoring defense (53.2 points) and is 11th in the nation with a 56.2 point average ... The Badgers returned to the Top 25 on Feb. 11 after a 12-week absence. Their No. 19 ranking is a season best ... Northwestern forward Jared Swopshire is the team's fifth player lost for the season after he underwent arthroscopic surgery on Feb. 12 to repair his right knee. Prior to the injury he had averaged 12.2 points and 8.8 rebounds ... The Wildcats' Hearn had the top scoring average on the court Wednesday. He's ninth in the Big Ten with a 14.0 per game average ... Northwestern is ninth in the nation with 10.7 turnovers per game while Wisconsin is third with a 9.5 average ... Wednesday's game was the lone regular-season meeting between the Badgers and Wildcats. Wisconsin held a 110-61 series lead and five straight wins entering Wednesday's clash. Northwestern has only three wins in the series since 2003 ... The Badgers are idle until Tuesday when they host Nebraska. Northwestern is at Purdue on Sunday.
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