Another slow start for the Wisconsin Badgers turned into yet another defeat, falling 83-72 to the Michigan Wolverines at the Kohl Center.
Michigan hit 3 of 4 three-pointers and 6 of 8 shots overall to build a 15-2 lead just 5:33 into the game on Sunday. Badger coach Greg Gard wasn’t happy early with his team’s defense so he made an early substitution, sending starters Ethan Happ, Nate Ruevers and Aleem Ford to the bench just 2:24 into the game.
“I was a little taken aback because that’s not usually what he does,” Happ said. “But obviously, he saw something in us where we weren’t getting it done.
“That led to a 15-2 run. I can’t fault him for that.”
Michigan led by as many as 25 points in the second half before the Badgers went on a run and climbed to within seven points of the Wolverines in the final minute.
Wisconsin (11-16, 4-10 Big Ten) is assured of finishing below .500 in league play for the first time since the 1997-’98 season.
The Wolverines (20-7, 9-5) won at the Kohl Center for just the second time in nine games under John Beilein.
Moe Wagner had 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Wolverines.
Happ had a season high 29 points for the Badgers, who will host Purdue on Thursday night.