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Hot-shooting 1st half sees Michigan down Badgers once again

Badgers can’t overcome Michigan’s hot-shooting first half, dropping 9th game in last 11 in Big Ten play.

It all seemed a bit familiar, as Wisconsin allowed Michigan to jump out to a 15-2 lead in the first 5:33 of the game. Much like the game against Northwestern, it was over from the opening tip again. The big run to start the game gave the visiting Wolverines a lead even a furious second-half comeback couldn’t overcome, as No. 20 Michigan downed the Badgers

Michigan now owns a three-game win streak in the series and Wisconsin has now dropped nine of its last 11 games in Big Ten play.

Duncan Robinson hadn’t seen the starting lineup for John Beilein’s group for over a month, but a hot week beyond the arc in practice was rewarded with a start. Robinson didn’t disappoint, pouring in 16 points and shooting a perfect 4 of 4 from beyond the arc.

Wisconsin also didn’t have an answer for for Mo Wagner, who put up 20 points on 8 of 14 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds in the win. Overall, four of five Michigan starters were in double figures in the win.

Not even a good day from Brevin Pritzl, who had 13 points on the back of a 15-point night against Illinois could vault the Badgers to a win. Neither could Ethan Happ’s 29 points and 7 rebounds.

As you’d expect, the Wolverines 15-2 lead was difficult to overcome and the Badgers had no answer for a hot-shooting Wolverines team in the first half. Michigan shot a ridiculous 65.4 percent from the field and were 8 of 14 from beyond the arc. The Wolverines entered halftime doubling up the Badgers 44-22.

It was a reversal of fortune for Michigan, who came in shooting just 25 percent from beyond the arc in the last five games.

Much like the Northwestern game, Wisconsin battled back hard in the second half. UW made seven shots in a row to cut a

Most importantly, Michigan cooled off considerably from beyond the arc, shooting just 1 of 6 from three-point land in the second half.  Wisconsin used a 10-0 run of its own to make it 58-45 with 9:21 to play, that’s how much they let the game get away from them in the first half.

Even seven-straight makes wasn’t enough to really get the Badgers back in the game, as UW trailed by 11 points with seven straight makes.

The Badgers could never really put the Wolverines in danger of losing the game. Multiple times in the second half Wisconsin got the Michigan lead down to 11 points or less, only to see the lead jump right back to 13 or more points. In fact, the Badgers did it at least six times, only to see Michigan score right back on all six of those possessions.

Not even shooting 60 percent in the second half did it for the Badgers. Such is the case when you spot a team a 13-point lead to start a game.

Wisconsin will continue a rough stretch to end the season with a visit to the Kohl Center by No. 6 Purdue on Thursday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 6pm on ESPN.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball


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