EVANSTON, Ill. - Micah Potter scored 19 points, D’Mitrik Trice had 13 and No. 21 Wisconsin shut down lowly Northwestern for a 68-51 victory Sunday night.
Jonathan Davis and Brad Davison added 12 points apiece, helping Wisconsin (16-8, 10-7 Big Ten) bounce back from consecutive losses to No. 3 Michigan and No. 11 Iowa. The balanced Badgers improved to 10-1 when they have at least four players score in double figures.
With a matchup against No. 5 Illinois looming on Saturday, Wisconsin used its deep roster and stingy defense to avoid a three-game slide. Led by Potter, the Badgers had a 31-16 advantage in bench points. They also forced 14 turnovers.
Northwestern (6-14, 3-13) lost its 13th straight game. Boo Buie scored 19 points, but he was the only player in double figures for the Wildcats. Chase Audige, who was averaging a team-high 13.3 points per game coming in, finished with five on 2-for-7 shooting.
Ryan Young’s three-point play trimmed Wisconsin’s lead to 46-39 with 12:59 left, but the Badgers responded with a 13-1 run. Tyler Wahl capped the decisive stretch with a driving layup and a 3-pointer.
Wahl finished with 10 points for Wisconsin, which earned its sixth straight victory against Northwestern.
Wisconsin had a scoring drought of almost six minutes in the first half, but Northwestern also struggled on offense and the Badgers started to pull away before the break.
Potter put Wisconsin ahead to stay with two foul shots with 5:36 left, part of a 14-4 run for the Badgers. Davis made two free throws and Potter converted a layup to make it 34-24 with 40 seconds to go.
Potter had 15 points at halftime on 5-for-6 shooting. The rest of the Badgers shot 30% (6 for 20) from the field in the first half.
Wisconsin: Steady as ever, the Badgers reached 10 Big Ten wins for the 18th time in the last 20 years.
Northwestern: It was another tough night for coach Chris Collins and crew. The Wildcats shot 40% (20 for 50) from the field.
Wisconsin: Hosts Illinois on Saturday afternoon. The Badgers lost 75-60 to the Illini on Feb. 6.
Northwestern: Visits Minnesota on Thursday night.