Gophers complete weekend sweep of Badgers

Eileen GuzmanFeb 12, 2018

Thanks to a 65.4 percent shooting performance from the field in the first half, MI jumped out to a 22-point halftime lead and held off a late Wisconsin rally in the second half to earn an 83-72 win over the Badgers in a Big Ten contest at Kohl Center in Madison, Wis.

Following Friday's 4-2 win, Minnesota has now earned weekend sweeps in Madison in two of the last three seasons. Defensively, Michigan basketball yields 63.4 points per game against the opposing teams. Duncan Robinson, replacing an injured Isaiah Livers in the starting lineup, hit four 3-pointers and scored 16. Robinson hit three triples during the stretch.

MI made it a point to get the ball in the paint early. Happ leads in rebounds with 8.2 and in assists with 4.0 per game.

It was all MI early as the Wolverines were clicking on both ends and jumped out to a 15-2 lead with 14:27 left in the first half.

As a team, the Wolverines shot 65.4 percent from the floor and 57.1 percent from three-point land.

The second half was a different story.

MI led 58-35 with 12 minutes left when Wisconsin went on a 12-0 run to cut the margin to 11 with 8:52 remaining.

Abdur-Rahkman snapped the flurry and a almost four-minute scoring drought with a driving layup at the 8:35 mark to give MI a 13-point lead.

Happ again was a problem for the Wolverines, who had a monster second half, scoring 18 points.

Junior Ethan Happ scored a game and season-high 29 points for Wisconsin.

It was Matthews that finally got MI back on track, scoring five straight points with less than five and a half minutes to go in the contest. Muhammad-Ali-Abdur-Rahkman was fouled - he made both - at which point John Beilein replaced Simpson with Jordan Poole.

Simpson was taken out of the game after that sequence.

MI made 12-of-14 free throws after that to secure the win.

Happ split his two free throw attempts on the other end, and Poole was fouled and sent to the line for U-M, who also split his pair.

Struggling at the line for this season, making 64.4% of their free throws, Wisconsin tried to exploit this weakness with just over three minutes remaining.

Moritz Wagner recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 20 MI (20-7, 9-5 Big Ten), which shot a blistering 65.4 percent (17-for-26) in a dominant first half and 56 percent (28-for-50) for the game. The Wolverines shot 18-of-24 (75 percent) from the line for the game.

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