Balanced and efficient Badgers bounce Gophers at Kohl Center

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The No. 21 Badgers avenged their loss to the Gophers earlier this conference season, beating Minnesota 78-70 Thursday at Kohl Center.

In the Gophers Jan. 22 win over Wisconsin, ranked No. 9 in the country at the time, Minnesota was without the services of top-scorer Andre Hollins, who injured his ankle on the first possession of the game.

It didn't bother Minnesota, as role players stepped up, 18 points each coming from Deandre Mathieu and Maurice Walker.

But Mathieu and Walker combined for just 11 Thursday, and Hollins 22 points paced Minnesota, but they got little help from his supporting cast, the only other double-figure scoring performance coming from Malik Smith.

The Badgers were consistent throughout despite only eight players seeing the floor, five of those eight scoring nine-plus points.

While getting a balanced scoring effort, the Badgers also got to the line and took care of the ball, hitting 30 of their 36 free throws while turning it over just seven times.

Wisconsin is now 96-14 against the Big Ten at home under head coach Bo Ryan, and 69-5 against unranked conference opponents.

The Gophers drop to 5-7 in conference play, and travel to Northwestern Sunday, a game they need in order to stay in NCAA tournament discussions.

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