Badgers look to finish season right

Rosemont, I.L. ~ The Wisconsin Badgers are coming off back-to-back Big 10 victories for the first time this season, and they look to continue their winning streak tonight when they play the Northwestern Wildcats at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

After a 73-63 comeback victory in OT at home against Minnesota earlier this week, and a shocking win last Friday against the then # 5 Purdue Boilermakers, Wisconsin’s young bunch must be feeling good about themselves.

On Monday, the Badgers trailed 58-51 with 5:58 remaining after a deep Minnesota three pointer and seemed finished. But Brevin Pritzl buried a three-pointer of his own, and after a quick steal, Khalil Iverson had an easy layup. Suddenly Wisconsin cut the deficit to two points – 58-56. With 7.9 seconds left in the game, the Badgers had one last opportunity. After the inbound, Prritzl quickly lobbed the ball into Wisconsin star Ethan Happ. Happ worked some magic in the paint and shimmied his way to an inside score with 5.3 seconds left to send Wisconsin to overtime.

In OT, Wisconsin dominated as Pritzl splashed two huge three’s. Pritzl was outstanding from three-point land on Monday as he went 6-9 beyond the arc and hit some clutch shots towards the end of the game. He finished the game with a career high 20 points.

Brad Davison added 19 points on five three’s. Happ ended the night with 10 points – he was held scoreless in the first half. Iverson put seven points on the board with 12 rebounds.

Wisconsin has not had a “Wisconsin-like” season, but it would be huge for them to finish out the season on a high note. The Badgers defeated No. 6 Purdue last week, came from behind against Minnesota, and now find themselves trying to pick up their third win in a row tonight against Northwestern. If Wisconsin is peaking at the right moment they could even make a run in the Big 10 Tournament, their only shot at making the NCAA Tournament this March.

Northwestern, led by Scottie Lindsey (14.3 points per game), is 15-14 overall and 6-10 in conference games this year. The Wildcats are coming off a loss to the Maryland Terrapins on Monday.  The last time these two teams met, Northwestern got an early 18-1 lead and never looked back, winning 60-52.

Bryant McIntosh and Vic Law will also be big factors in tonight’s game for Northwestern.

If the Badgers finish the regular season strong they could find themselves making a run in the Big 10 Tournament. But first thing first, Wisconsin’s young team needs to win this game first, and then the next.

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