Vincent Grier Scores 32 in 60-50 Win over Badgers

Vincent Grier scored 26 of his season-high 32 points to lead Minnesota to a 60-50 upset win over #19 Wisconsin at Williams Arena on Saturday. The Gophers continued their march to a possible first NCAA Tournament appearance under head coach Dan Monson as they improved to 6-3 in Big Ten play.

Vincent Grier made 12-of-14 field goal attempts in the second half and ended with a career-high 32 points. The Gophers ended a seven-game losing streak to the Badgers and improved to 16-6, 6-3 in the Big Ten. Minnesota moved into a tie for third in the Big Ten with Wisconsin, which fell to 15-5, 6-3 in the conference.

Minnesota started the game making eight of the first ten shots. The Gophers took an 11-3 lead after Brent Lawson made a driving layup and was fouled. He scored five points and had two steals in the opening four minutes as the Gophers epxanded the lead to 15-5. However, Wisconsin fought back as Clayton Hanson's three-pointer cut the lead to 18-13. Jeff Hagen score an inside basket, but the Badgers finished the half on an 11-2 run. The Gophers did not score over the final 7:38 of the half and missed their last 11 shots. Fortunately, the Gophers held the Badgers without a point for the final 4:55, forcing them into six field goal misses to end the half. Wisconsin led 24-22 at the intermission.

Hanson hit a three to put Wisconsin up 34-33, but the Gophers answered with a 7-0 run capped by a Brent Lawson three-pointer, the Gophers' first of the game. Grier took over as he scored 16 of Minnesota's last 20 points. Wisconsin attempted to defend Grier with Hanson, a good outside threat but marginal defender, and Greir took advantage of the mismatch. He made a slicing layup and was fouled to give the Gophers a 45-38 lead with 8:56 to go. Aaron Robinson drained a three-point shot to put the Gophers up by 10. Robinson added three steals in the second half.

Ray Nixon got the Badgers back into it at 48-42 with four straight points, but Grier countered with several pull-up mid-range jumpers and slashing layups. A four-point run put Minnesota back up 54-44 with 4:30 left. Alando Tucker put back a Mike Wilkinson miss on the next possession to pull Wisconsin within eight, but it could not get any closer.

Grier was the lone Gopher double-figure scorer, but his teammates all contributed in the win. Hagen scored seven points and grabbed eight rebounds. Lawson had four steals and eight points, while Dan Coleman added six points and seven rebounds.

Minnesota held Wisconsin to a season-low 32.6% shooting and forced 17 turnovers. The Badgers have yet to win a game this season in which they had 17 or more turnovers. Minnesota shot 46% for the game on 25-of-55 shooting.

Wilkinson led Wisconsin with 14 points and nine rebounds and Tucker scored 10 points.

Minnesota hosts Northwestern on Wednesday night at Williams Arena. The game starts at 7 p.m. and will not be televised.

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