The Badgers sophomore registered a career-high 28 points, 22 of which came in the second half, to help Wisconsin upend Minnesota, 78-76, in front of a sellout crowd at Williams Arena Saturday afternoon.
Happ scored 14 straight points at one point in the second half for Wisconsin (16-3, 5-1 Big Ten), attacking the rim with a ferociousness that had been missing over the last few games.
He added 12 rebounds, six assists, five blocks, one steal, one turnover and only two fouls, not to mention regaining his rhythm from the free throw line by going 6-for-9 and hit a critical one with 12.9 seconds left in overtime.
Senior Nigel Hayes scored 21 points in 42 minutes to help keep the Badgers in a tie for first place in the Big Ten.
Minnesota senior Akeem Springs – who was a part of the Milwaukee team that beat the Badgers in the Kohl Center last season – hit a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left that ended a 5:13 scoreless drought and a 5-0 Badgers run. He wasn’t so lucky in overtime, as an off-balanced attempt to win the game bounced off the iron.
The Gophers (15-5, 3-4) got 19 points from Amir Coffey and 16 from Springs. Shooting 34 percent from 3-point range as a team, Minnesota finished 9-for-17 (52.9 percent).
Minnesota scored nine points on its first five possessions of overtime but the Badgers’ defense kept them off the board on the Gophers’ final two.
Senior Bronson Koenig had a chance to win it at the regulation buzzer but lost the handle of the ball as he was going up for the shot. He made up for it in overtime by scoring six of his 11 points, including a 3-pointer with 38.7 seconds left that put the Badgers up 77-76.
Wisconsin returns home Tuesday to take on Penn State.
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