After starting off the season on a scoring tear, Hughes has shot 33.3 percent (10-for-30) from the floor and has struggled with ball control - committing 11 turnovers - in the last three games.
But for a brief glimpse Saturday night, Hughes showed Wisconsin fans what he is capable of.
With the score tied at 54, Hughes nailed a clutch three-point bucket from the top of the key to put Wisconsin ahead for good, helping the Badgers come back from a nine-point deficit to win 68-58.
Wisconsin closed out the final two minutes of the game on an 11-4 run to move the Badgers (9-2) to 99-6 at the Kohl Center.
"I thought our guys were opportunistic," head coach Bo Ryan said. "When things just aren't going right you just have to keep doing things and try to make it happen and I thought that is what we did."
Junior Joe Krabbenhoft continued to be Mr. Double-Double for the Badgers. Krabbenhoft scored 11 points to go along with 11 rebounds. The forward was also three assists away from recording the first triple-double in school history, finishing with a team-high seven assists.
Krabbenhoft's 11 rebounds helped the Badgers win the rebounding edge 40-28 over the Crusaders (10-2), who saw their eight-game win streak snapped.
"When some things just aren't going right, you just have to keep doing things to make it happen and that's where we did it, on the glass," Ryan said. "That was key."
For whatever reason, the Badgers continue to struggle with the ball control. Wisconsin's 20 turnovers marks the six straight game with at least 15 turnovers.
The Badgers also shot poorly from the free throw line - shooting a paltry 47.2 (17-for-36) percent from the charity stripe.
Marcus Landry was the lone bright spot from the free throw line, hitting 5-of-7 from the charity stripe en route to seven points and seven rebounds on the night.
"To get it on the left-hand side, I have no idea," said Ryan when asked of his team's shortcomings. "And when I have no idea, yes I do – we touch the post and got them to foul. Some of the things we did I have never seen before. For our three guards to go 1-for-8, one assist to eight turnovers … have you ever seen that before? I haven't."
Hughes finished with a team-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while fellow classmate, Jason Bohannon tallied 11.
Brian Butch was one point and one rebound away from his third double-double of the season after grabbing nine boards and scoring nine points while fellow senior Michael Flowers also chipped in nine points.
Wisconsin played tough down the stretch grabbing key rebounds and forcing three Valparaiso turnovers in the final 50 seconds to hold onto the win. The Badgers showed the crowd once again why they lead the Big Ten in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense, holding the Crusaders to only 58 points on 38.5 percent shooting.
"They didn't get down and didn't get discouraged, I think that's going to help us later on this year," Ryan said.