Wisconsin pushed its winning streak to five games with a 81-74 victory at No. 19 Michigan on Thursday night.
The Badgers got 28 points from D’Mitrik Trice as they ended the Wolverines wining streak at five games. The junior guard went 5-for-6 from beyond the arc and is shooting 49.1 percent (27-55) from 3 over his last 10 games. His biggest shot from the outside came when Michigan had cut Wisconsin’s 10-point lead to 70-67 with 3:05 left. But Trice drilled one from distance to push it back to six.
It was the second big answer from the Badgers. They led by 10 at the break, putting 43 points on a Michigan team that hadn’t given up more than 35 in a half over the last month. A quick 8-0 run by the Wolverines had Wisconsin on its heals. But a 3-pointer from Trice, sandwiched by two buckets by junior Aleem Ford, gave the Badgers breathing room again.
Ford and junior Micah Potter provided the Trice with plenty of help. They each had 18 points, with Ford adding a team-high eight rebounds and Potter bringing in seven boards. It covered for an off night by junior Nate Reuvers, who took just two shots — making just one, though it was a big one in the final two minutes.
Michigan was paced by a game-high 32 points by Zavier Simpson, while Franz Wagner had 17 points, including 15 in the second half. No one else had more than nine points for the Wolverines, who did shoot 51.7 percent — the highest number allowed by Wisconsin this year.
The win moved the Badgers to 18-10 overall and 11-6 in Big Ten play. It left them in a three-way tie for second place in the conference, two games back of first-place Maryland with three games to play.
If Wisconsin wasn’t a lock for the NCAA Tournament before the game, it was afterwards. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi moved coach Greg Gard’s club up to a No. 6 seed with the victory.
The Badgers will now welcome Minnesota to town on Sunday, looking for a bit of revenge after the Gophers beat them in the Twin Cities earlier this year.