Game Day Grades: No.15 Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - With Frank Kaminsky's low post dominance, striking a healthy balance between post production and perimeter shooting and an ever-improving defensive effort, No.21 Wisconsin never trailed in its 75-62 victory at No.15 Michigan Sunday. BadgerNation hands out the grades.

Offense: A-

Wisconsin never trailed on Sunday in its 13-point win over No. 15 Michigan. That was thanks in part to their hot shooting. Wisconsin shot 26-for-58 from the field (44.8 percent), 7-for-17 from the 3-point line (41.2 percent) and 16-for-21 at the free throw line (76.2 percent).

UW got out to a 14-4 lead in the first six minutes thanks to its hot shooting, making six of its first seven shots, and saw Sam Dekker, Frank Kaminsky and Josh Gasser score 23 of UW's first 26 points.

Kaminsky was able to score inside and outside successfully and registered 25 big points for UW, including 17 in the second half. He was also aggressive going for rebounds, finishing with 11 rebounds. He pulled down eight of those rebounds in the first half (four offensive) which helped UW keep possession.

Gasser his three big 3-pointers and Dekker was aggressive driving to the basket immediately, something he didn't really do against Minnesota, to chip in 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting.

UW outrebounded, outshot and outscored the Wolverines all game long, and they did it with great balance. While three Badgers scored in double figures, there were contributors all over the floor.

Traevon Jackson (9) and Ben Brust (7) didn't have great shooting days, but both helped out in other ways. Brust grabbed nine rebounds and Jackson had three rebounds, six assists and zero turnovers. As a team, UW also took care of the ball, finishing with just two turnovers.

Jackson was able to drive in the lane and kick it out to open shooters most of the game, including three to Gasser.

Defense: B

Wisconsin made things difficult on Michigan from the opening tip. The Badgers controlled the defensive glass – finishing with 34 rebounds – and forced a lot of one-and-done possessions for the Wolverines in the first half. UW held Michigan to its lowest point total in a first half this season (19), and held the Wolverines to only 40 percent (2-for-50) from the field.

After scoring 20 points against Wisconsin in Madison last month, Caris LeVert caused problems for UW again, scoring 25 points on 7-for-13 shooting. UW's defenders were not getting a hand in his face early enough to force difficult attempts. LeVert again showed UW's weakness coming off ball screens, as LeVert was a catalyst for the Wolverines second half comeback attempt.

Outside of LeVert, though, the rest of the Wolverines had pedestrian-like games because of the tight defense UW was playing. Glenn Robinson scored 10 and Nik Stauskas – who had 23 points in the first meeting - scored 11. Finishing 4-for-11 from the field, Stauskas was frustrated all game by Gasser, who has a knack for shutting down scorers. Jordan Morgan was also guarded more closely in the paint this time around and was held to five points.

Wisconsin turned nine Michigan turnovers into seven points and held the Wolverines to only 14 points in the paint.

Overall: B+

As impressive as the numbers were, Wisconsin's dominating performance was the result of balanced, crisp, polished play. Wisconsin made only two turnovers – a season low – and responded with big shots after Michigan trimmed Wisconsin's 16-point lead down to three.

After LeVert helped cut the lead to 52-49 with 6:16 to go, Wisconsin responded but that's as close as they would get.

Kaminsky answered LeVert by scoring 10 of his 17 second-half points in a 3:32 stretch, putting UW up 13 with 2:17 to go. Despite the Badgers not building on their lead to put the game away early in the second half, they were able to finish the win on the road, which is difficult to do in the Big Ten.

Game MVP: Frank Kaminsky. Following Nigel Hayes' lead might have been the best thing the junior has done all season. Kaminsky has started to utilize his post game more often, leading to more production on the glass and the scoreboard. Kaminsky recorded his first double-double of his career, finishing with 25 points and 11 rebounds. With Hayes having an off night (1-for-6, 4 points), Kaminsky came up big when he was need the most, coming up with answers to Michigan's run in the second half.


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