MADISON, Wis. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team suffered its ninth-straight loss at No. 20 Wisconsin, dropping a 76-50 decision Wednesday night (Feb. 16) at the Kohl Center. The Wolverines (12-14, 3-9 Big Ten) fought hard from start to finish, but were unable to overcome the Badgers' sharp shooting from the field. Michigan found itself in a hole early after Wisconsin drained 6-of-11 from three-point range in the first half to build up a 20-point lead. U-M remained driven, hitting 40.0 percent (10-of-25) from the field in the second half with five triples, but Wisconsin's 51.9 percent (14-of-27) shooting performance in the second frame carried the Badgers to victory.
Sophomore Courtney Sims (Roslindale, Mass./Noble & Greenough School) led the Wolverines with 16 points, hitting 6-of-10 from the field including his second-career three-point basket. Sims also added eight rebounds and three blocks to his double-digit performance. Sophomore Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) reached double figures for his third-consecutive game, tallying 15 points with three triples while dishing off four assists.
The first half began as a back-and-forth battle, as the teams engaged in two ties and two lead changes before four minutes had expired off the clock. Michigan was able to produce down low early, as Harris connected with Sims for back-to-back buckets on bounce-pass feeds to leave the Wolverines trailing by two (10-8) with 13:49 remaining. Despite a promising offensive performance to begin the half, the Maize and Blue were unable to keep up against Wisconsin's long-range offense, falling victim to an 11-0 Badger run aided by three-straight three-point baskets.
Down by 10 (21-11), Michigan finally quieted the Wisconsin offense, putting up a strong defensive performance and holding the Badgers scoreless from the field for 5:12 of play. No progress was made on the scoreboard, however, as the Wolverines' inability to score during that stretch maintained the Badgers' double-digit lead. Wisconsin hit a triple with 3:53 on the clock to break its scoring silence and followed suit with seven points to Michigan's two, leaving the Wolverines down by 17 (30-13) with 1:43 left in the half.
Michigan continued to fight as Harris hit a long jumper with the clock expiring for a momentum burst heading into the locker rooms. But Wisconsin's long-range arsenal in the first half proved to be deadly for the Maize and Blue, leaving Michigan down 37-17 at the break.
Wisconsin didn't back down in the second half, as the Badgers continued to hit their shots to leave Michigan with no room for a comeback. The Maize and Blue refused to quit, maintaining a strong presence despite its significant deficit. Sims went on a tear for the Wolverines, scoring six-straight points in the heart of the half to contribute to his 11-point second-half performance. Harris also held strong for Michigan, coming away with 10 second-half tallies aided by two triples.
Despite Michigan's fight to the end, Wisconsin's on-the-mark shooting left the Wolverines with little room for error, and the Badgers walked away with the 76-50 victory over the Maize and Blue.
U-M returns home Sunday (Feb. 20) to face off against Indiana. Michigan will retire the jersey of Glen Rice in a halftime ceremony at Crisler Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EDT.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423