Michigan Destroys No. 9 Wisconsin, 77-54, To Keep Its Perfect Record Intact
The Michigan Wolverines' basketball team destroyed Wisconsin in impressive fashion tonight, extending their perfect record to 11-0 on the year. The Maize and Blue will next head to Minneapolis to square off with the Minnesota Golden Gophers Saturday afternoon.
Miss any of tonight's dominant performance from the Wolverines? We have the complete recap below.
Senior forward Isaiah Livers scored the first four points for Michigan tonight, giving the club a 4-2 lead two minutes into the game. Wisconsin fifth-year senior guard D'Mitrik Trice nailed a three-pointer after that, though, to put the Badgers on top 5-4.
A breakaway lay-in from sophomore guard Franz Wagner at 16:25 stretched U-M's edge to 8-5, before a triple from Livers on the right wing gave the Wolverines an 11-5 lead with 15:52 to go in the half.
U-M held an 11-8 edge at the under-16 timeout, with the club shooting a red-hot 63 percent at that juncture. Head coach Juwan Howard called a timeout at the 12:50 mark following a 4-0 Wisconsin run that trimmed Michigan's lead from 13-8 to 13-12.
Fifth-year senior forward Austin Davis checked in during the break for the first time since his Dec. 9 injury. He immediately made his presence felt, scoring on a lay-in on the ensuing possession to put the Maize and Blue up 15-12.
U-M's margin was 18-15 at the under-12 timeout, with Livers the leading the scorer at that juncture with seven points. Wagner stretched the advantage to 21-17 with a triple from the right corner with 9:57 to go in the half.
Junior forward Brandon Johns extended the margin to 26-19 (U-M's biggest of the night) when he connected on a corner three-pointer at 8:31, and that's where things stood at the under-eight timeout.
Livers stretched the advantage to 31-23 with a triple with 4:15 to go in the half, and the Wolverines were five-of-nine from deep at that point. The blowout then kicked in with a breakaway layup from fifth-year senior guard Mike Smith to extend the lead to 35-23 with 3:13 to go, causing Wisconsin to call a timeout.
A baseline jam from Wagner made it 37-23 with 2:28 to play, and Livers ended the half in style with a three-pointer to give the Maize and Blue a 40-23 lead at the break. The Wolverines ended the first half on a 14-0 run over the final 5:28, with the Badgers missing their final eight shots.
Michigan's onslaught continued in the second half in a big way. Freshman center Hunter Dickinson got U-M's scoring started with two free throws to make it 42-26 at 19:28, which ignited an insane run by the Wolverines.
A three-pointer from senior guard Eli Brooks in transition at 17:28 put Michigan on top 47-26, before Smith added a trifecta of his own to put the club up 54-26 at 15:33. That's where things stood at the under-16 timeout.
U-M was on a 28-3 run at that point. Things would only get much, much better for the Maize and Blue. A baseline jumper from Smith at 13:22 made it 60-26, before senior guard Chaundee Brown threw down a massive two-handed dunk off a missed shot from Livers at 12:55 to put U-M up 62-26.
This capped off a 36-3 run from Michigan. It finally came to an end when Trice converted a corner triple at 12:17, mercifully making the score 62-29. U-M's edge sat at 67-29 at the under-12 timeout with 10:53 to play.
An offensive board and putback from Dickinson made it 71-38 at the 7:11 mark, giving the 7-1 big man 10 points in the half. He only scored two in the first half. A midrange jumper from Smith with 5:02 left to play increased U-M's margin back at 30 (75-45), with the Wolverines taking a 75-48 lead into the under-four timeout.
Howard inserted the backups into the game at that point. Freshman guard Zeb Jackson grabbed the club's next bucket when he converted a deep two-pointer with 2:19 to play, which made the score 77-48.
The Badgers ended the game on a 6-0 run, but that didn't put a damper on the Wolverines' 77-54 triumph. Smith concluded as the team's leading scorer with 16 points, with Wagner finishing next with 15.
Michigan's defense limited Wisconsin to just 31 percent shooting from the field.
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