MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Jordan Taylor scored 22 points to lead No. 14 Wisconsin to a 52-45 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday night that clinched a first-round bye in the Big Ten tournament for the Badgers.
Both teams shot poorly, there were 43 fouls called and the teams combined to shoot 58 free throws.
But the Badgers (22-8, 11-6 Big Ten) found their shooting touch in the second half to secure at least a fourth-place finish in the conference.
Minnesota (17-13, 5-12) led 23-16 at halftime. But Wisconsin opened the second half on a 9-2 run to tie it at 25 on a three-point play by Mike Bruesewitz. He was initially called for a charge, but the officials huddled and reversed the call. Replays showed Andre Hollins' foot was on the arc under the basket.
Minutes later, with the game tied at 27, Minnesota coach Tubby Smith was called for a technical foul, and Taylor hit both free throws to give Wisconsin its first lead since 11-10 midway through the first half. Taylor followed with a 3-pointer, and Wisconsin didn't trail the rest of the way.
Robb Wilson's 3 with just under 7 minutes left gave Wisconsin its first double-digit lead of the game at 44-34, and the Badgers held on down the stretch.
Hollins led the Gophers with 18 points, while Ralph Sampson III finished with eight points to give him 1,004 for his career. He is the fifth player in Minnesota history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 150 blocks.
Ryan Evans added 12 points for the Badgers.
The teams were almost even at the free throw line as Minnesota shot 21 of 29, though it missed three of its last four attempts, and Wisconsin was 22 of 29. But after shooting 19 percent from the field in the first half, Badgers knocked down 4 of 12 from behind the 3-point arc in the second half. Minnesota, meanwhile, shot just 24 percent for the game.
Minnesota looked lifeless Sunday in a 19-point home loss to Indiana, but the Gophers came out the aggressor on Tuesday.
It didn't hurt that Taylor was called for his second foul with a little more than 6 minutes left in the first half, sending him to the bench, and Wisconsin's offense grounded to a halt. The Gophers finished the first half on a 9-3 run to lead 23-16, and the spurt included a technical foul on Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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