No. 15 Wisconsin beats Rutgers 61-54 in OT
NEW YORK — Ethan Happ scored seven of his career-high 32 points in overtime and No. 15 Wisconsin overcame offensive struggles to beat Rutgers 61-54 on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
Happ was the only player for the Badgers (18-3, 7-1 Big Ten) to shoot above 50 percent, and the team finished at 33.3 percent for the game (20 for 60), including 3 for 25 from 3-point range. Happ was 12 for 18.
Corey Sanders had 15 points for the Scarlet Knights (12-10, 1-8), who lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
The Badgers came into the game tied for first in the Big Ten with No. 22 Maryland. They have won 14 of their last 15 games.
Wisconsin struggled with its shooting but the Badgers made six of their seven shots in the overtime.
They took the lead for good on a reverse by Happ on which he was fouled. He missed the free throw but corralled it and laid it in for a 51-48 lead with 2:42 to play.
Both the field goal percentage and 3-point percentage were season lows for Wisconsin.
Rutgers finished with a 44-41 rebound advantage but the Scarlet Knights committed 19 turnovers that turned into 17 points for the Badgers.
Wisconsin: The Badgers were making their third appearance at the current Madison Square Garden. They split two games last season. … Nigel Hayes is the only player in Division I to accumulate 1,600 points, 650 rebounds and 250 assists. He is third highest active scorer behind Bryce Alford of UCLA and Josh Hart of Villanova.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights were making their 100th appearance in the current Madison Square Garden and they have a 45-55 record. They won their earlier appearance this season, beating Fordham 68-53. … Rutgers’ last win over a ranked opponent was a 67-62 victory over then-No. 4 Wisconsin on Jan. 11, 2015.
This was the second time the Big Ten hosted a basketball-hockey doubleheader at Madison Square Garden. Last year it was Penn State and Michigan in both games. This year, Wisconsin plays Ohio State in hockey.
The Big Ten will play its conference tournament at Madison Square Garden in 2018.
Wisconsin: The Badgers are at Illinois on Tuesday.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights host Iowa on Tuesday. Iowa won the earlier meeting 68-62.