February 11, 2018 / 8:37 PM / 6 months ago

No. 20 Michigan holds off late Wisconsin rally

No. 20 Michigan often lives or dies by perimeter shooting, and the Wolverines certainly lived in the first half at Wisconsin on Sunday.

Thanks to a 65.4 percent shooting performance from the field in the first half, Michigan jumped out to a 22-point halftime lead and held off a late Wisconsin rally in the second half to earn an 83-72 win over the Badgers in a Big Ten contest at Kohl Center in Madison, Wis.

Michigan (20-7, 9-5 Big Ten) remained one game behind fourth-place Nebraska in the conference standings, which is important since the top-four seeds earn double-byes in the upcoming Big Ten tournament.

Following a 61-52 loss at Northwestern on Tuesday, Michigan made sure it wouldn’t lose any more ground to Nebraska from the start, opening the game with a 15-2 run and leading 44-22 at halftime.

Michigan went 8 of 14 from 3-point range (57.1 percent) and outrebounded Wisconsin in the first half by a margin of 19-7.

Wisconsin (11-16, 4-10) managed to make a run in the second half, scoring 12 consecutive points to cut Michigan’s lead from 23 down to 11 at 58-47 with 8:55 remaining.

The Badgers closed to within eight points at 71-63 with 2:37 left after a 3-pointer by freshman Aleem Ford, but Michigan built its lead back up to 11 at 77-66 with 1:00 left.

Wisconsin cut Michigan’s lead to seven at 79-72 with 39.8 seconds remaining, but couldn’t get any closer in falling to 2-9 in its last 11 games.

Junior forward Moritz Wagner had 20 points and 11 rebounds, senior Duncan Robinson had 16 points, senior Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman scored 15 points and junior Charles Matthews added 11 points for Michigan.

Junior Ethan Happ scored a game- and season-high 29 points for Wisconsin.

Michigan finished the game shooting 56 percent from the field overall (28 of 50) and 9-of-20 from 3-point range (45 percent).

—Field Level Media

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