Ann Arbor, MI–Michigan came in riding on a five games winning streak but inside the Crisler Center, the Badgers shot well and contained guard Zavier Simpson enough to beat Michigan 81-74 Thursday night.
Wisconsin (18-10 overall, 11-6 Big Ten) led for three-quarters of the game in Ann Arbor and saw D’Mitrik Trice, Aleem Ford, and Micah Potter combine for 64 of the team’s 81 points.
In the opening minutes of the contest, the Badgers would start out a quick and lead 16-9 in the first five minutes of game action. The Badgers would continue their hot shooting and kept Michigan at a distance thanks to the phenomenal play of D’Mitrik Trice had 13 points early points. Micah Potter was a huge spark coming off the bench in the first half, the Badgers play well on both ends of the court in the first 13 minutes.
Simpson scored 32 points on the evening with 14-of-22 shooting. He penetrated Wisconsin’s defense in getting to the paint and made layups at will, also added five boards and six assists in the loss.
Trice scored a team-high 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting. That included making five of six three-point attempts. He tallied 15 second-half points and hit key shots from deep to help extend Wisconsin’s lead during key points in the contest.
Nate Reuvers only played 18:30 on Thursday night due to foul trouble and only had two points for the night. However, Potter and Ford picked up the slack and finished with 18 points each and combined to shoot 13-of-20 in Ann Arbor.
In Thursday night game, but the Badgers finished the game making 11-of-23 (47.8%) from beyond the arc against the Wolverines which that was the difference in the game.
Over the final seven minutes of the first half, Wisconsin would continue to push the tempo and extend the lead to 14 with only 4:08 to go. Michigan was able to chip away at the Badgers’ lead slightly due to the stellar play Simpson, but in the end, the Badgers were able to hold a 10 point lead, 43 to 33 at the break.
Michigan started the second half on a 10-2 run. That was answered by an 8-0 Wisconsin spurt to regain a 10-point lead at 53-43 with 13:47 remaining in the contest.
But down the stretch, it was the Badgers defense in the post area and their ability to knock down shots from downtown was the difference in the contest.