Traevon Jackson — the sophomore from Ohio had one major scholarship (Arizona State) besides Wisconsin when he committed to the Badgers in the class of 2011.
With the game tied at 43 with 39.1 seconds remaining, the point guard out of Ohio drained the clock to the very end before jacking up a shot. The ball rattled off the rim, bounced off the glass, and sunk through the hoop.
Wisconsin took the 45-43 lead with a handful of seconds to go.
Trevor Mbakwe tried to grab Minnesota’s final opportunity on the in-bounds play but was fouled and injured, leaving the court. Bo Ryan chose Rodney Williams to be the ‘savior’ for the Gophers.
The senior drained the first free throw, but clanked the final free throw. The Badgers secured the 45-44 victory over Minnesota. Andre Hollins finished with 20 points.
In a matter of moments, the Gophers went from a upper echelon team in the Big Ten to the middling pack. Minnesota (15-5, 3-4) falls to seventh in the conference with its fourth consecutive loss. With today’s loss, the Gophers are 1-12 at the Kohl Center in Madison.
The lackluster shooting from three of its starters hindered the Gophers. Austin Hollins made only one of his 10 shots, while Williams and Joe Coleman combined for one of 11 baskets.
The only offense came from Andre Hollins. The sophomore finished 6-for-11 from the field with five rebounds and two steals. The bench productivity was also strong with Maverick Ahanmisi and Elliott Eliason combining for 10 points.
Andre Ingram also had a solid game for the Gophers. While the senior did not enter the scoring column, the forward did play 20 key minutes at power forward. He finished with five rebounds.
Besides the game-winning basket by Jackson, Wisconsin was led by the bench production of Sam Dekker and George Marshall. Dekker, the freshman and former McDonald’s All-American, finished with 10 points and six rebounds. Marshall had eight points.
Dekker had two early three-pointers. No two-pointers were scored by either team in the first nine minutes play.
Tubby Smith added new wrinkles on offense on Saturday. He pushed Williams to small forward for parts of the game. The wrinkles continued as Ahanmisi played some point guard with Hollins moving to shooting guard.
The Gophers went on a 16-5 run in the middle of the first half, while the Badgers closed the first half on a late 13-2 run.
Minnesota secured the basketball for the first time in Big Ten play. The Gophers coughed up the ball 15 times or more each game, but only had 10 turnovers at Wisconsin.
The 44-point total comes after only accumulating 48 points during the game at Northwestern. The Gophers now head back to Williams Arena for games against Nebraska and Iowa.