Gophers have ‘extra fire’ to end skid against arch-rival Wisconsin

In the first two seasons under head coach Ben Johnson, the Gophers men’s basketball team lost all four games against arch-rival Wisconsin. Those four losses have come by a combined 14 points.

The largest margin of victory came in the U’s first matchup against the Badgers under Johnson on Jan. 30, 2022, in Madison, Wis. — a 66-60 Wisconsin victory. Since then, the Gophers have lost by scores of 68-67, 63-60 and 71-67.

“Now it’s our job to try and finish that. We’ve been close,” Johnson said, “but now how do we get over the hump and finish one?”

The Gophers will look to finally finish one against the 13th-ranked Badgers at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Williams Arena and will simultaneously look to end a three-game skid. Overall, the Gophers haven’t beat the Badgers since a 70-52 victory in Minneapolis on Feb. 5, 2020. They may have to do it without starting point guard Elijah Hawkins, who missed Thursday’s game at Michigan State with a sprained ankle and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to go on Tuesday.

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