Gophers fall on the road to Wisconsin 80-66

The Minnesota Gopher basketball team's road woes continued as they fell to Wisconsin 80-66 in Madison as the Badgers extended a 26-game win streak at the Kohl Center and sent the Gophers to their seventh straight loss. The Gophers trailed 33-19, but went on a 20-3 run to gain the lead. However, sophomore Devin Harris showed why he is the leading candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year as he scored a career-high 38 points to pace the Badgers. Minnesota fell to 8-12 overall and 0-8 in conference

The Gophers scored the last seven points of the first half to cut the lead to 33-26 at the break. Adam Boone made a lay-up after an assist from Jeff Hagen, Ben Johnson had his fourth steal of the half and took the ball the length of the field for a lay-up and Michael Bauer hit a three-pointer to key the run.

The Gophers never led in the half as the Badgers opened a quick 10-2 lead. Harris had 14 for Wisconsin in the half, while Gopher freshman Kris Humphries had 12 for Minnesota.

The Golden Gophers continued their hot play in the second half with a 13-3 run to open the final twenty minutes. Harris made a three-point for the Badgers to put Wisconsin up 36-31. However, Humphries scored three baskets and Ben Johnson hit a fade-away jumper to give the Gophers their largest lead at 39-36. Johnson put the Gophers back up 41-40 with 12:51 remaining after four straight points by the Badgers.

However, Wisconsin regained control of the game, going on an 11-3 run to lead 51-44 with 10 minutes left. Wisconsin extended its lead to 18 at 80-62 with under two minutes as Harris scored 10 straight points. The Gophers, already playing with a short bench, were hampered by foul trouble the entire second half, and Stan Gaines and Jeff Hagen both eventually fouled out.

Devin Harris, a midseason Wooden Award candidate, had a career night for the Badgers, scoring a career-high 38 points on 10 of 12 shooting from the field. He also hit 13 of 14 free throws and five of seven from three-point range. Harris had his second 30-point performance in the last three games and his third consecutive 20-plus point game. During those games, Harris has scored 97 points, averaging 32.3 per game, hitting 28-of-39 from the field and 27-of-31 from the free throw line. Mike Wilkinson added 15 points and Zach Morley, who the Gophers recruited hard last spring, had 14 for the Badgers.

Kris Humphries once again paced the Gophers, with 24 points on 12 of 21 shooting and grabbing eight rebounds. Johnson scored 17 points on eight of 12 shooting and had five steals. Bauer came off the bench with 10 points.

Minnesota returns to action on Sunday afternoon at Williams Arena for a nationally televised CBS battle with Illinois.

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories