Wolverines Fall Short in Back-and-Forth Affair with Badgers

Jan. 18, 2017

What You Need to Know
» After trailing by five points at halftime, Michigan used a 17-2 run to take an eight-point lead, 38-30, with 12:40 left in the game.
» Wisconsin went on a 15-0 run to regain the lead for good with 2:27 remaining.
» Zak Irvin led four Wolverines in double-digit scoring with a game-high 20 points, with Derrick Walton Jr. (15), Duncan Robinson (11) and Moritz Wagner (10) also in double figures.

Box Score

Site: Madison, Wis. (Kohl Center)
Score: #17 Wisconsin 68, Michigan 64
Records: U-M (12-7, 2-4 B1G), WIS (15-3, 4-1 B1G)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Jan. 21 -- vs. Illinois (Crisler Center), 2:15 p.m. [ TV: BTN ]

MADISON, Wis. -- In a back-and-forth game of runs, the University of Michigan men's basketball team came up just short of the comeback against Wisconsin (No. 17 AP, No. 17 ESPN/USA Today), dropping a 68-64 contest on Tuesday (Jan. 17) inside the Kohl Center.

Zak Irvin led all players with a game-high 20 points and also added six rebounds and three assists. Derrick Walton Jr. also posted double figures with 15 points, while Duncan Robinson and Moritz Wagner chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

With Michigan trailing by five points at halftime, Wisconsin tallied the first points of the second half, and then the Wolverines caught fire, going on a 17-2 run. That stretch featured eight points from Irvin and six from Wagner, to give U-M its first lead since the first basket of the game, going up 38-30, with 12:40 left in the game.

The Badgers eventually ended more than a seven-minute scoring drought and put up six straight points to cut their deficit back to two points, 38-36, at the 11-minute mark. From there, the game of runs continued. Robinson ended the Wisconsin run with a three-pointer, and then the Badgers outscored U-M 6-2 to tie the game at 43. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Robinson then sank back-to-back threes to give the Maize and Blue a six-point edge, 49-43, at 6:29.

Wisconsin responded with a big run of its own, recording 15 unanswered points, capped by three consecutive threes to regain the lead, 58-49, with 2:27 remaining in the game. Down 63-56 with 40 seconds left, Walton drained a three-pointer with 27 ticks left to pull U-M within four, 63-59. The Wolverines were forced to foul down the stretch, but a couple missed free throws by the Badgers kept the game within reach. Irvin sank another three with six second left, but U-M fouled Bronson Koenig with four seconds remaining, and he hit both free throws to preserve the 68-64 win for the Badgers.

The two teams traded baskets early in the first half with Irvin scoring Michigan's first six points. The Badgers led 14-10 at the 12-minute media timeout, but Robinson hit U-M's first three-pointer of the game to pull the Wolverines within one at 10:26. Wisconsin answered back with five quick points, and then Irvin beat the shot-clock buzzer with a triple from the wing, and Abdur-Rahkman connected from long range to make it a tie game, 19-19, with 7:11 left in the first half.

The Wolverines the hit a cold spell and went without a field goal for the remainder of the opening half. Wagner hit a pair of free throws, and Wisconsin scored just six points in the final six minutes to make it 26-21 at the half.

Michigan's 21 fouls as a team match a season high, and Wagner, Walton and D.J. Wilson each fouled out late in the second half. The team stats were extremely close, including the rebounding battle, which was tied at 32, while Wisconsin outscored Michigan 32-16 in points in the paint.

Tweet of the Game

The Wolverines will now head back to Ann Arbor to host Illinois on Saturday (Jan. 21) at 2:15 p.m. inside Crisler Center. The game can be seen live on BTN. [ Tickets ]

Communications Contact: Tom Wywrot

»  Learn about Michigan men's basketball season tickets for the 2017-18 season.