MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Nigel Hayes scored 21 points and Wisconsin hit a season-high 13 3-pointers to beat Ohio State 79-68 on Thursday night to extend its winning streak to five games.
Wisconsin (14-9, 6-4 Big Ten) took advantage of open looks on the perimeter but nearly squandered a 12-point lead midway through the second half.
The Badgers made things difficult for themselves by going just 10 of 17 from the foul line for the night. Ohio State (14-10, 6-5) drew within 62-59 with 7:04 left on Jae’Sean Tate’s layup.
Hayes, though, was clutch in the second half, when he scored 18 points.
On defense, he dropped back on his man to intercept a pass into the paint with 3:17 left.
Hayes followed with a dunk on the next possession, and Jordan Hill hit a 3 with the shot clock winding down for an eight-point lead with 1:39 left.
Wisconsin has clawed its way back into the middle of the conference pack after 1-4 start.
The Buckeyes lost their second straight game despite 27 points for JaQuan Lyle, who was 11 of 19 from the field. Kam Williams added 10 points, while Tate finished with nine.
Bronson Koenig scored 13 points for Wisconsin and was 3 of 7 from behind the arc. The Badgers were 13 of 27 from 3-point range.
Ohio State: Tate was assessed a technical foul with 1:10 left in the first half after a play in which he elbowed Wisconsin’s Zak Showalter in the face after an Ohio State bucket. Showalter was standing behind Tate. … Lyle led all scorers in the first half with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting. He was a combined 6 of 25 from the field in his previous five games.
Wisconsin: Wisconsin led 38-32 at the half after squandering an 11-0 run to open the game. … In honor of Black History Month, the Badgers wore throwback uniforms from 1976 to honor Bill Cofield, the first black basketball coach in Big Ten history. The uniform featured plain white solid lettering and numerals across the red top, and an image of the Badgers mascot on the side of the shorts.
Ohio State: Hosts Northwestern on Tuesday.
Wisconsin: Hosts Nebraska on Wednesday.