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Northwestern sweeps Wisconsin for first time since 1996

northwestern-sweeps-wisconsin-for-first-time-since-1996

Boo Buie made two free throws with 31.0 seconds left Sunday to give Northwestern the lead for good as it completed a season sweep of Wisconsin with a 54-52 Big Ten Conference win in Madison, Wis.

Buie added two more foul shots with 4.7 seconds remaining after the second of two defensive stops down the stretch. The Badgers (13-9, 5-7) got a free throw from Max Klesmit with 2.9 seconds left to draw within two points, but Chase Audige rebounded the intentional miss of the second free throw and tossed it towards midcourt as time expired.

The win gave the Wildcats — who are tied for third in the Big 10 standings — their first season sweep of the Badgers since 1996.

Buie finished with a team-high 13 points for the Wildcats (16-7, 7-5), which went 4-2 in a stretch of six games in 13 days caused by a pair of postponements last month due to COVID-19 issues within the program.

Audige added 11 and pulled down seven rebounds while playing the full 40 minutes as Northwestern earned a 33-26 advantage on the boards. The Wildcats canned 46.7 percent from the field.

Chucky Hepburn scored a game-high 17 points for Wisconsin, including a pullup in the lane that gave it a 51-50 edge with 45 seconds on the clock. Freshman Connor Essegian converted five 3-pointers and finished with 15, but missed the front end of a one-and-one with 2:14 left that could have put the Badgers ahead.

Despite their recent NBA-type schedule, the Wildcats looked like the fresher team for much of the first half. They moved the ball well on offense and used their quickness to double-team key Wisconsin players, forcing poor passes and tough shots.

Audige sank a pullup for a 14-6 Northwestern advantage just under six minutes into the game, allowing it wiggle room for an offensive drought that enabled the Badgers to crawl back into the game.

Wisconsin closed within 26-23 at halftime when Tyler Wahl took advantage of a quick shot by Brooks Barnhizer that kept the Wildcats from running down the clock. Wahl scored in transition as time expired.

–Field Level Media

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