MADISON, Wis. — Nebraska gave No. 17 Wisconsin a game Tuesday night for about seven minutes.
Then the Badgers scored 24 of the next 26 points to wipe out NU's one-point lead and roll to a 77-46 Big Ten men's basketball victory.
Wisconsin led by 38 points, 64-26, with 8:34 left when coach Bo Ryan began substituting heavily. The final margin of 31 the Huskers' worst of the season out of six losses by 20 points or more.
“We were as bad as the weather outside,” NU coach Tim Miles said. “It was disappointing. We just weren't ready to compete against a team this good.”
With the win, Wisconsin (20-8, 11-4) stayed alive for a conference title, especially with No. 1 Indiana (24-4, 12-3) losing Tuesday at Minnesota.
Nebraska (13-15, 4-11) likely would need to win its final three regular-season games — at Illinois, Minnesota, at Iowa — and at least two more in the Big Ten Conference tournament to have any postseason hopes.
The last time the Huskers won five league games in a row? It was 14 years ago.
Wisconsin hit its first two shots to go up 6-0, but Nebraska responded to take leads of 10-8 and 12-11. The second of those came on a Dylan Talley jumper with 13:13 to go. Talley scored a game-high 21 points and added eight rebounds.
But 3-point shots from Wisconsin soon began to pile up like the snow falling outside Kohl Arena.
The Badgers hit 8 of 11 3s in the first 14Ĺ minutes, jumping to a 35-14 lead. Freshman wing Sam Dekker came off the bench to hit three 3s. The margin grew to 23 points — 44-21 — just before halftime.
That was a season-high points in a half for Wisconsin, which scored only three more than that in beating Nebraska 47-41 on Jan. 6 in Lincoln.
“I thought we withstood their first punch,” NU assistant coach Chris Harriman said. “Then the second punch kind of knocked us out. We didn't respond well to that, then our offense affected our defense.
“As the misses kept piling up, defensively we got more lax.”
Any thoughts of a second-half comeback for Nebraska ended when the Huskers opened the period 1 of 18 from the field.
Dekker led Wisconsin with 19 points with Ryan Evans adding 14.
For Nebraska, other than Talley, senior Brandon Ubel added 10 points and six rebounds. Shavon Shields, the current Big Ten freshman of the week, had two points on 1-of-7 shooting and committed four fouls.
>> NOTES: Husker senior center Andre Almeida, who twisted his knee in practice Monday, didn't play. ... Wisconsin had 13 assists on 16 first-half baskets. ... NU has scored fewer than 50 points five times in Big Ten play. ... The Huskers' next game is Saturday at 4:15 p.m. at Illinois (20-9, 7-8).