Score: Wisconsin 73, #23 Michigan 61
Records: U-M (10-3, 0-1 Big Ten), UW (10-3, 1-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Jan. 4 -- vs. Illinois (Crisler Arena), Noon
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 23-ranked University of Michigan men's basketball team fell, 73-61, to Wisconsin in its Big Ten opener Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 31) at Crisler Arena. Freshman guard Zack Novak(Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton HS) had a career-best 20 points and a career-high eight rebounds to lead the way for the Wolverines.
Junior forward DeShawn Sims(Detroit, Mich./Detroit Pershing HS) added 14 points and sophomore/freshman guard Laval Lucas-Perry(Flint, Mich./Powers Catholic HS) also reached double figures in scoring with 11.
Wisconsin took an early 11-9 lead and then went on a 9-0 run to take a 20-9 advantage with 13:26 remaining in the first half.
With the Badgers leading, 26-13, Lucas-Perry sparked an 8-0 run for Michigan with a foul-line jumper. Fifth-year senior guard C.J. Lee(Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland HS) and Lucas-Perry then both hit triples as the Wolverines cut the Badgers lead to five, 26-21, with 8:17 in the first half. However, Wisconsin answered the U-M spurt with seven unanswered points to push their lead back out to double digits, and the Badgers took a 42-31 lead to the intermission. Novak led all scorers with 11 at the break, while Jon Leuer led the Badgers with 10 points in the first 20 minutes as Wisconsin shot a blistering 65.2 percent (15-of-23) from the field in the first half.
Novak continued his strong play to open the second half as he scored the first five points for U-M to eclipse his career high, but the Wolverines were unable to cut into the Badger lead. Trvon Hughes scored 10 consecutive points for Wisconsin as the Badgers pushed their lead to 56-41 six minutes into the second stanza.
Michigan then went on an 11-2 run to cut Wisconsin's lead to single digits, 64-55, with 3:17 remaining, but Wisconsin held off the Maize and Blue down the stretch and picked up the road win.
Hughes and Marcus Landry led Wisconsin with 16 points apiece as the Badgers finished the contest shooting 59.0 percent (27-of-46) from the field.
Michigan will be back in action on Sunday (Jan. 4) when the Wolverines host Illinois at Crisler Arena. Game time is scheduled for noon and will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423