MADISON, Wis. (GopherSports.com) - Behind its highest offensive output of the season, the No. 12/9 Gopher Hockey program completed a Border Battle sweep over No. 17 Wisconsin on Saturday night with a 7-1 win at the Kohl Center.
The win moves the 20th ranked Wolverines to 20-7 overall and 9-5 in the Big Ten, while Wisconsin falls to 11-16, 4-10. A 3-pointer by Wisconsin's Aleem Ford with 2:37 left cut the deficit to eight, the first time it was within 11 since the opening minutes. Graduate transfer point guard Jaaron Simmons got some run early, and hit a three as well. Duncan Robinson shook off his own personal slump, connecting on four three point baskets in the first half to help stake MI to a significant lead. Robinson hit three triples during the stretch.
MI finished the half with a 44-22 lead - dominating the Badgers in all facets of the game.
It was all MI early as the Wolverines were clicking on both ends and jumped out to a 15-2 lead with 14:27 left in the first half. Happ took 13 of his team's 25 shots in the first half, making five en route to 11 points. Moe Wagner would also finish with multiple three point baskets, connecting on three of his six attempts.
The second half was a different story.
However, things never come easy for MI at the Kohl Center, as Wisconsin didn't wilt and made seven straight shots.
Four players are averaging at least 8.7 points per game for MI, they are Moritz Wagner (14.4), Charles Matthews (14.0), Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (11.3) and Duncan Robinson (8.7).
Happ again was a problem for the Wolverines, who had a monster second half, scoring 18 points.
Wisconsin (11-16, 4-10), as usual, was led by star forward Ethan Happ, who finished with 29 points on 12-of-23 shooting. However, even then, the Badgers wouldn't go away without a fight. Muhammad-Ali-Abdur-Rahkman was fouled - he made both - at which point John Beilein replaced Simpson with Jordan Poole. Sending Zavier Simpson to the line multiple times, they tried to get back into the game by trading buckets for missed free throws.
MI made 12-of-14 free throws after that to secure the win.
Moritz Wagner scored 20 points for MI (20-7, 9-5), which has yet to lose consecutive games this season.
MI as a team shot 75 percent (18-for-24) from the free throw line, 56 percent from the floor and 45 percent from three.