Wisconsin came into the game tied for first place in the Big Ten in the loss column with Michigan State and Illinois. And the Badgers started the game strong. Michigan trailed by 6, 22-16 at the 9 minute mark.
Then Coach Amaker put the Wolverines into a 2-3 zone. It sparked Michigan, and the Wolverines took the lead 28-27 at the 4 minute mark. Wisconsin never recovered -- and never led again.
The Wolverines stopped making the mistakes that have haunted them during their poor spells this season. Instead of shooting too-quick three-pointers, the Michigan guards only shot four the whole game this time -- instead they drove the ball to the basket and dished to the big men.
And the big men stepped up as well. Chris Hunter returned strong from his knee injury, recording 6 points and 7 rebounds. Brett Petway continued the improvement in his post play with two baskets, and also hit all four of his free throws. And Courtney Sims continued his strong streak of post play, scoring 14 points and 5 rebounds.
Daniel Horton only scored two points in the game, but he took care of and distributed the ball well.
And Bernard Robinson Jr. played like an All-American in the first half, making three 3-pointers, and he also did an excellent job on Wisconsin's Devin Harris, holding him to 3-18 shooting before suffering a blow to the head midway through the second half. Robinson finished the game with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists.
Lester Abram led the Wolverines with 17 points and 8 rebounds.
After the game, Michigan Head Coach Tommy Amaker said, "I certainly thought that we played efficiently and intelligently."
Michigan goes to 15-8 on the season, and pulls back to 6-6 in the Big Ten. The Wolverines continue their crucial late season home stand Tuesday at home versus league-leading Michigan State (15-9, 10-3), followed by their final home game next Saturday versus OSU (12-13, 4-8) -- before ending the regular season with two away games at Indiana (12-12, 6-7) and Northwestern (11-12, 6-6). If the Wolverines stay hot, and win a couple games in the Big Ten Tournament as well ...
But Lester Abram said after the game, "I try not to talk about the NCAA Tournament. We don't know what it is going to take to get us in, so Coach (Amaker) doesn't want us worrying about it."
Michigan Upends Wisconsin, 71-59
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