Wisconsin traveled to Ohio State on Thursday, defeating the Buckeyes 65-60. The victory ended a three-game skid for the team and it was their first win since Jan. 17 versus Penn State.
The Badgers dominated the first half, taking a 43-27 lead into break. Wisconsin was red-hot from the field over the first 20 minutes, shooting 16-for-31 (52%) while making five three-pointers.
In what was an odd half, Ohio State had 22 rebounds to Wisconsin’s nine, but the Buckeyes turned the ball over 11 times to the Badgers’ two. Greg Gard’s crew was able to turn those turnovers in 13 points on the opposite end, contributing to their 16-point halftime lead.
Part of the abnormal first half was the ejection of Ohio State’s head coach Chris Holtmann following a controversial charge call earned by Tyler Wahl. The double-tech led to six points on one possession for the Badgers right before half.
Wisconsin went cold in the second half though, going 7-for-24 from the field and failing to make a bucket for the final 7:18 of the contest after taking a 62-47 advantage. This allowed the Buckeyes to storm back late, scoring 13 straight points and bringing the game as close as 62-60.
Chucky Hepburn was able to to make three free throws down the stretch and the Badgers were able to escape with a 65-60 win.
For Wisconsin, four of their five starters scored in double-digits with Connor Essegian producing a game-high 17 points (5-10 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 5-6 FT). Chucky Hepburn (15 points), Steven Crowl (14 points) and Max Klesmit (12 points) also reached double-digits.
The Badgers’ bench only attempted two shots in the contest, scoring two points with Carter Gilmore making a laying up in the second half. In comparison, Ohio State got 15 points from their bench.
Freshman forward Brice Sensabaugh, led the way for the Buckeyes, scoring 13 points (5-7 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 1-1 FT) in the defeat.
The Badgers improved to 13-8 with the win and 5-6 within the Big Ten. Wisconsin will return to action at home on Sunday (Feb. 5) at 5:30 PM versus Northwestern, who beat the Badgers 66-63 on Jan. 23.
Ohio State fell to 11-11 with the loss and 3-8 in conference contests. The Buckeyes will head to Michigan (12-10) on Sunday for another Big Ten matchup.