For the second straight Saturday, the Badgers found themselves in overtime on the road – this time, in Madison Square Garden. Ethan Happ, just like last Saturday in Minnesota, was doing the job mostly alone. Happ had 25 of Wisconsin’s 45 regulation points, including a big bucket to tie the game up with two seconds left on the clock. In overtime, his career-high 32 points led Wisconsin to a gritty 61-54 win.

The game was ugly with teams trading bricks almost the entire game until the offenses stepped it up late and in overtime.

The Midseason Wooden Top 25 nominee Happ scored a career-high 32 points on 12/18 shooting from the field.  Happ was named Big Ten Player of the Week just last week after his 28 point, 12 rebound, six assist, five block performance in Minneapolis. Today, he had 32 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Nigel Hayes didn’t have a field goal until overtime but played an instrumental role in the extra period. Hayes and Happ traded nice passes to each other down low as Wisconsin controlled everything late. Hayes finished with seven points, 11 rebounds, and four assists.

Happ was the only Badger to make more than one field goal until Zak Showalter made his second bucket with just 1:09 left to put the Badgers down two. Bronson Koenig would hit just his second field goal of the game, a three, with 32 seconds left to put the Badgers within one. Koenig finished with 10 points on 2/13 shooting from the field. Happ, fittingly enough, would be the one to save the Badgers as he bullied his way for a post move that tied the game up with two seconds left.

Happ had it going from the get go. He scored the Badgers first eight points and overall had an eventful first ten minutes. Happ had two breakaway steals, one resulting in two free throws and the other a made lay-up on a pretty move. The sophomore forward would later put a Rutgers defender in a spin cycle as he drove right and spun back to the middle, displaying his footwork that he’s worked his entire college career on.

Wisconsin was dreadful shooting the ball the entire game, with some extreme field goal droughts. The Badgers finished the first half missing their last 12 shots. They didn’t make a field goal for 13 minutes and 51 seconds at one point, a drought that stretched from the end of the first half into a chunk of the second half.

If you eliminate Happ’s 12/18 effort, the rest of the team went just 8/42 from the field. Luckily enough for Greg Gard’s squad, they plain and simply had the best player on the court who wasn’t going to be denied.

The Badgers finished just 3/25 from the three-point line as it seemed like they were going to succumb to a major upset. Rutgers was just 1-7 in the Big Ten this year coming into the game. Corey Sanders finished with 15 points for the Scarlet Knights and Nigel Johnson chipped in 13.

Rutgers lead by nine points, 42-31, with just over three minutes left, but Wisconsin rattled off a 13-4 run to tie the game up. The Scarlet Knights lead the game for twice the amount of time that the Badgers did.

Despite only scoring 45 points in the first 40 minutes, the Badgers were able to score 16 in the final five to avoid the upset bid. A loss would’ve set the Badgers back in the Big Ten race, but instead, the Badgers improve to 18-3 and rest atop the Big Ten conference with a 7-1 record.

Wisconsin takes on Illinois in Champaign on Tuesday. The game can be seen on BTN at 8 p.m. CT.