MADISON, Wis. — Nate Reuvers scored 11 points as No. 24 Wisconsin struggled through a poor offensive performance in a 63-48 win over Northwestern on Wednesday night.
The win moved the Badgers (20-10, 13-6 Big Ten) into a three-way for first place in the Big Ten.
Wisconsin was not effective with the ball against a team that has the 12th-worst defense in the league, giving up more than 70 points a game, and is in last place in the conference.
Northwestern (7-22, 2-17) dug itself two holes, but only found its way out of only one.
The Wildcats, who shoot 42% from the field on average, started the game 1 for 10 with five turnovers in the first nine minutes. After trailing by 17 points with 5:48 left, Northwestern cut the Wisconsin lead to 32-28 just before half.
The Wildcats’ offensive woes resurfaced after the break as they started 1 for 12 and fell behind 48-33 with 8:51 left.
Wisconsin struggled to maintain consistency on offense. The Badgers rely heavily on the 3-point shot, averaging nearly nine a game and shooting 35% from the arc. They made the first 3-pointer they took on consecutive possessions to start the game. From there, Wisconsin made 5 of their next 22.
Pete Nance led Northwestern with 14 points.
Northwestern: The season has been a struggle for the Wildcats. They showed fight at times, but lacked any kind of offensive attack to give them a chance at the upset.
Wisconsin: The Badgers have gone from a 5-5 start in December to a three-way tie for first in the Big Ten, joining Maryland and Michigan State with one game to play in the regular season.
Northwestern: Hosts Penn State on Saturday.
Wisconsin: Travels to Indiana on Saturday.