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Gophers overrun by Badgers in overtime, lose ninth in a row

February 20, 2018

MADISON, WIS. There hasnt been much to celebrate for Minnesota and Wisconsin basketball this season.

Both programs went from the upper echelon in the Big Ten last season to the bottom of the league standings this season.

But a Border Battle rivalry win still means something no matter their records.

The Gophers got close to their first victory in Madison since 2009, but the Badgers forced overtime before escaping with a 73-63 win Monday at the Kohl Center.

Minnesota coach Richard Pitino, who now has lost nine straight games and 12 of his last 13, still hasnt beaten the Badgers since his first season coaching at the U in 2013-14.

If there was a time for the drought to end, it looked to be this season with Wisconsins 19-year NCAA tournament streak likely to be snapped. The Badgers (13-16, 6-10) also had six home losses this season entering Monday, but it wasnt meant to be.

Brevin Pritzl and Maple Grove native Brad Davison had 20 points and 19 points to lead Wisconsin, which has won eight straight games in the series. Jordan Murphy had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Gophers (14-15, 3-13), who played without starters Amir Coffey and Reggie Lynch for the 11th time this season.

Khalil Iverson cut it to 58-56 with 1:31 left in regulation after a reverse layup. The Gophers went scoreless from the field for the last 5 1/2 minutes of regulation after leading 58-51 on a three-pointer from Murphy.

After being fouled with 14.1 seconds, Murphy hit 1-of-2 free throws to give Minnesota a three-point advantage. But Iverson was hit on the defensive rebound to give him a chance to cut it to two with a free throw.

Following Ethan Happs basket in the post to tie it 59-59, Nate Mason had a chance to score the game-winning basket, but he was tripped by Davison as the buzzer sounded. Mason, who finished with 11 points, injured his lower right leg on the play.

Happ, who had 21 points in an upset over No. 6 Purdue last week, didnt score his first points until 17:34 in the second half Monday.

Minnesota took advantage with Happ struggling going ahead 48-42 after back-to-back jumpers from Dupree McBrayer, including a three-pointer at 14:39.

McBrayer returned to the lineup after missing two games with a lower left leg injury. The junior guards offense was a welcomed sight. The Gophers announced over the weekend that starting sophomore guard and third leading scorer Amir Coffey would undergo season-ending surgery on his right shoulder.

Coffeys replacement, Michael Hurt also picked up the slack with 10 of his season-high 15 points in the first half Monday. Hurts three-pointer followed by a jumper from Nate Mason gave Minnesota a 55-48 lead with 7:31 remaining.

Brevin Pritzls three-pointer with just under four minutes to play started the late rally for the Badgers, who outscored the Gophers 8-1 in the last five minutes of regulation.

Davisons 14 first-half points was part of a barrage from beyond the arc in the first half for the Badgers, who needed seven threes to take a 35-34 halftime lead, including a buzzer-beater from Pritzl.