MI basketball answers Wisconsin's 2nd-half runs for 83-72 win

Rinkside Border Battle Bullet Points

Happ finished with 29 points and 7 rebounds.

Eight players scored in the first half for MI, led by Robinson's 14 points. The Badgers battled back after they trailed by as many as 25 points to cut the deficit to 7 points, but it wasn't almost enough.

WHO STUMBLED: Aleem Ford made a crucial 3-pointer to cut Wisconsin's deficit to 71-63 late in the second half, but he had a tough day overall. "He made 50 in 55 shots", Beilein said about Robinson. The Boilermakers were ranked 3 in last Monday's Associated Press Top 25 and are now projected to be the #1 seed in the West Region according to the NCAA Selection Committee's bracket preview, which was released prior to CBS' coverage of the Wisconsin-Michigan game on Sunday. "You're not going to make them if you don't shoot them".

"Just too much early, and with the way they spread the floor ... it got us out of being able to play two bigs together because we had to be able to cover more on the perimeter", coach Greg Gard said. In order to close out games going forward, MI will need to perform in a similar fashion at the line as they did today.

Sheehy gave the Gophers their first lead 39 seconds into the third period, but Matt Ustaski tied the score for Wisconsin just over a minute later. "When they start off 7-9 or whatever it was, that opens up a lot of stuff for them". Brevin Pritzl scored 13 and Brad Davison chipped in 10.

Moments of excitement, however, have been short-lived this season, as Wisconsin's second-half spurt was more the exception than the rule.

Michigan: The Wolverines reached the 20-win plateau for the eighth time in Beilein's 11 seasons as coach.

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The Gophers return home next weekend to host Ohio State on February 16-17 in the team's final regular season series at 3M Arena at Mariucci. Sending Zavier Simpson to the line multiple times, they tried to get back into the game by trading buckets for missed free throws.

The second half brought more of the same until a Nate Reuvers jumper sent the Badgers on an 10-0 that gave this team life, and we saw flashes of what we thought this team could be this season-they outscored MI 50-39 in the second half, but every time they pulled within striking distance, the Wolverines got a big bucket, and in the end, a first-half deficit was too much to overcome.

Happ had his way in the paint down the stretch with an array of baseline drives and post moves.

For a brief stretch in Wisconsin's (4-10 Big Ten, 11-16 overall) 83-72 loss to No. 20 MI (9-5, 20-7), the Kohl Center faithful rose to its feet in excitement. The Wolverines cooled off after the break, but by then the damage was done. 3 Badgers in 2014 the only other win in that stretch. The Gophers outshot Wisconsin 36-24 on the night.

MI outrebounded Wisconsin 17-9 in the first half.

"It all started with our defense".

Wisconsin: Faces its second straight ranked opponent when No. 3 Purdue visits on Thursday.

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