Northwestern beats the Badgers, sweeps season series for first time since 1996

Northwestern earned its first season sweep of Wisconsin in more than 25 years on Sunday night with a 54-52 win at the Kohl Center.

The Wildcats held a 52-51 advantage in the final 30 seconds and withstood two potential game-winning shots from Chucky Hepburn, including one with six seconds left, before hitting a couple of free throws to essentially ice the game.

Boo Buie had 13 points to lead the way for Northwestern, which also got 11 points and seven rebounds from Chase Audige.

For Wisconsin, it was another frustrating night on the offensive end of the floor in what was its seventh loss in the last nine games. The Badgers shot just 38-percent for the game and only 37-percent from inside the 3-point line. The only reason they were in the game at the end was due to hitting nine 3-pointers, including five from freshman Connor Essegian.

Hepburn finished with 17 points on 6-for-15 shooting, though he was just 1-for-4 in the final 1:28 of the game. Essegian added 15 points, all of them on 3-pointers, but also missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with about two minutes to go that would have tied the game.

For the night, the Badgers were just 5-for-11 from the free thrown line, a continuation of what has become a significant issue for the team. In its last seven losses, Wisconsin is shooting only 54% from the stripe and are now at 65.0% for the season.

The Wildcats did a very good job limiting Steven Crowl and Tyler Wahl in the paint with strong double teams. It led to just 10 points on 10 shots combined, though each had four assists.

Wisconsin dropped to 13-9 overall and 5-7 in Big Ten play with the loss. It left the team sitting in a tie for 10th place with a Penn State team the Badgers will face on Wednesday night on the road.