ANN ARBOR, Mich. — No. 21 Wisconsin built a big, first-half advantage against No. 15 Michigan, and then held off a charge by the Wolverines to take a 75-62 Big Ten win at the Crisler Center on Sunday.
Wisconsin (21-5, 8-5 Big Ten) got a double-double from junior forward Frank Kaminsky with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore forward Sam Dekker had 15 points and junior guard Josh Gasser scored 13.
Michigan (18-7, 10-3 Big Ten), which entered the day as the Big Ten co-leader with Michigan State, was led by a career high 25 points from sophomore guard Caris LeVert. Sophomore guard Nik Stauskas had 11 points, while forward Glenn Robinson III added 10 points for the Wolverines, who shot just 31 percent in the first half.
Working their way out of a deep hole, the Wolverines pulled within three points with about six minutes left in the game, but Kaminsky scored seven straight to give the Badgers some breathing room, and then hit a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock with about two minutes left, pushing Wisconsin to a 13-point edge.
The Badgers led by 18 points late in the first half, but Michigan, after scoring just three points over the final five minutes of that first half, rallied to open the final 20 minutes and cut the lead to 42-33 on a pair of free throws from LeVert with 13:20 left.
The Wolverines kept chipping away, and when LeVert scored five straight points to get the Wolverines within seven, sophomore Robinson III followed with a jumper a few moments later that sliced the lead to just five at 52-47.
A pair of LeVert free throws reduced the lead to three with more than six minutes left.
The Badgers came out firing to open the game, and making shots, hitting six of their first seven field goal attempts while building a 14-4 lead just five minutes into the game. A pair of 3-pointers from Gasser provided the early punch.
Wisconsin, which came in on a three-game winning streak after dropping five of its previous six, maintained the momentum and led 20-9 at the midway point of the first half after a baseline drive for a dunk and a put-back basket by sophomore forward Dekker.
Michigan struggled to close the gap, and when Dekker drilled a triple from the wing with 6:40 left in the half, the Wisconsin lead expanded to 26-11. Michigan’s first-half woes — missed shots and turnovers — persisted, and an 8-0 run gave the Badgers an 18-point advantage on their way to a 34-19 halftime edge, Michigan’s lowest first-half point total of the season.
NOTES: Michigan sophomore F Mitch McGary, who played a limited role in eight games early in the season but has been out indefinitely since back surgery on Jan. 7, has started his rehabilitation work but has not yet participated in any basketball drills. … Wisconsin freshman F Nigel Hayes, a three-time conference freshman of the week, has come off the bench in the Badgers’ 25 previous games, and averaged 8.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per outing. … Michigan beat Wisconsin 77-70 on Jan. 18 at the Kohl Center for just its second win at venue. … Wisconsin senior G Ben Brust leads the Big Ten shooting 90.3 percent (56-for-62) on the free-throw line.
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