MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Brevin Pritzl scored 19 points. shooting 5 of 6 from 3-point territory, and Wisconsin played stifling defense early to beat Ohio State 70-57 on Sunday.
The Badgers pulled away after closing with a 16-0 run for a 38-20 halftime lead. The sloppy Buckeyes never got closer than 11 the rest of the way.
Wisconsin (14-10, 7-6 Big Ten Conference) responded to another tough week off the court with another home win in the rough-and-tumble league to bolster its NCAA Tournament resume.
Strength and conditioning coach Erik Helland resigned Thursday after being placed on leave for allegedly using a racial epithet in front of Badgers players as he recounted a story from his days in the NBA. The school said it had no evidence Helland had directed racially insensitive language toward any player.
Swingman Kobe King, the team’s second-leading scorer, left the program about two weeks ago to seek a transfer.
The Badgers regrouped with their fourth straight win at the Kohl Center, shooting 12 of 32 (37%) from the 3-point line and 41% overall.
Andre Wesson had 11 points to lead Ohio State (15-8, 5-7), which committed nine of its 14 turnovers in the first half and had trouble getting good shots in the paint.
Six-foot-9 center Kaleb Wesson, the team’s leading scorer at 14.3 points per game, spent much of the final 7 minutes of the first half on the bench with foul trouble. He finished with eight points on 2-of-11 shooting.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes shot just 32 percent in the first half and 37 percent overall on the afternoon. They couldn’t keep up with Wisconsin’s perimeter attack after shooting just 6 of 19 (31%) from the 3-point line.
Wisconsin: Coach Greg Gard started the 6-11 Nate Reuvers and 6-10 Micah Potter, an Ohio State transfer, in the frontcourt together for the first time this season. The lineup change worked with Reuvers (three blocks) and Potter (two blocks) leading an inspiring effort on the defensive end near the bucket in the first half.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes open a stretch of three of four games at home by hosting Rutgers on Wednesday.
Wisconsin: The Badgers get a five-day break before visiting Nebraska on Saturday.