Continuing an abysmal conference season, the University of Wisconsin (10-14, 3-8 Big Ten) lost 60-52 against Northwestern University (14-10, 5-6 Big Ten) Thursday night.

The Badgers appeared outmatched early in this contest, trailing 18-1 to start off the game. But, for the latter part of the second half, the Badgers were within single digits, closing the lead to as few as six points.

Northwestern was able to maintain their lead by hitting their free throws efficiently, knocking down 13-15 in the second half. Being a veteran team, this came a lot easier for the Wildcats in this contest than it has for the Badgers, who have had difficulty closing out games of late.

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The most impressive scorer in the contest was Dererk Pardon, who was a perfect 8-8 on the night with a team-high of 17 points. But, Northwestern’s unselfish play and ability to distribute the ball is what separated them in the game as each starter had at least eight points.

Wisconsin also distributed the ball well, with four players scoring more than 10 points. But, the shot efficiency was not there as the Badgers shot 32.8 percent on-field goals and 26.9 percent from the three.

The most glaring hole on the box score was Brevin Pritzl, who went a surprising 0-11 from the floor and 0-9 from deep after shooting 38.4 percent in his previous four games.

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Despite getting the win, one of the most surprising statistics for either team was Bryant McIntosh’s seven turnovers. The senior guard averages just 2.5 per game, but high effort defense by Brad Davison and Khalil Iverson were able to force some important steals to keep Wisconsin in the game.

In their next contest against Maryland, the Badgers started out hot, knocking down three three-pointers within the first eight minutes of the game. After Maryland took a 10-point lead at the half, Wisconsin battled back in the second period.

Once the Badgers came back, the game went back and forth with eight lead changes in the final 10 minutes of the contest. After a jumper by Kevin Huerter extended the lead to four with 27 seconds left, Brad Davison gave Wisconsin a chance at a comeback with a clutch three-point shot with 10 on the clock to close the lead to one. Unfortunately, Maryland hit their free throws and Wisconsin couldn’t finish off what would have been an incredible comeback.

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Although it was a losing effort, Aleem Ford had one of his best games of the season against the Terps. Ford didn’t get much rest in this game, notching a career-high 38 minutes while shooting 4-5 from the three-point line for 12 points.

Hopefully, Wisconsin can gain positive momentum after a hard-fought loss and end their losing skid Thursday night at Illinois.