No. 14 Wisconsin holds off UW-Milwaukee 60-54
MILWAUKEE—Jared Berggren scored 17 points to help No. 14 Wisconsin fend off a second-half surge from in-state rival Wisconsin-Milwaukee for a 60-54 victory on Tuesday night.
Jordan Taylor had 14 points for Wisconsin (9-2), including a critical 3-pointer with just over 40 seconds left to help put the game away. Ryan Evans scored a career-high 16 points for the Badgers, who have won three straight to recover from consecutive losses earlier in the season.
Tony Meier scored 15 points, playing a key role in a second-half comeback for Wisconsin-Milwaukee (8-3).
Leading 31-20 at halftime, the Badgers pushed their lead to 44-27 on a three-point play by Evans with 15:17 left.
But the Panthers went on a 16-1 run that included two 3-pointers, an inside score and a three-point play by Meier, cutting Wisconsin's lead to 45-43 with 9:27 left.
The Panthers later tied the game at 48 on a layup by Meier with 5:19 left.
Berggren hit a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired, but Milwaukee's Ryan Allen answered with a dunk.
Taylor then scored inside and later made two free throws, giving the Badgers a 55-50 lead with 3:27 left. Milwaukee's Kaylon Williams scored, cutting the lead to three with 1:08 left.
Taylor then hit a 3-pointer with just over 40 seconds left to put the game away.
With the win, Bo Ryan once again came out on top against Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter, his former assistant.
Milwaukee was without two starters because of injuries, forward Kyle Kelm and guard Ja'Rob McCallum.
Wisconsin had won two straight games coming in, recovering from losses at North Carolina and at home to Marquette by beating UNLV and Wisconsin-Green Bay at home.
The Badgers have been struggling to hit shots from outside of late, but shook off their recent slump to shoot 38.5 percent from 3-point range in Saturday's home victory over UNLV.
But even when they aren't hitting their shots, the Badgers still play defense.
Milwaukee got off to a miserable start against Wisconsin, which came into Tuesday's game as the nation's best defensive team allowing 44.9 points per game.
The Panthers started 3 for 18 from the field and 0 for 6 from 3-point range, and fell behind 22-8 on an inside shot by freshman Frank Kaminsky.
Milwaukee went on a 12-4 run from there, cutting the lead to 26-20 on a jumper by Evan Richard.
But Berggren hit a 3-pointer, Evans scored inside and the Badgers went into halftime with a 31-20 lead.
Evans' previous career-high was 15 points in Wisconsin's Nov. 25 victory over Bradley.