CHICAGO -- Defense ruled at the United Center for the first half of Wisconsin and Michigan's Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal Friday. The teams combined to make just 15 of 58 shots (25.8 percent) and score 37 points as Michigan carries a 20-17 lead into halftime.
Traevon Jackson (2-4 FG, 1-2 3P) leads all scorers with seven points and hit a three-pointer with five seconds remaining to close the lead to three points at the half. Glenn Robinson III (3-of-6 from the floor) leads all Michigan scores with six points. Tim Hardaway Jr. owns a game-high five rebounds despite missing part of the half due to a rolled ankle.
Wisconsin shot a putrid 5-of-29 (17.2 percent) from the field in the first half but shot 5-of-6 (83.3 percent) from the free throw line; Michigan shot a comparably respectable 10-of-29 from the field (34.5 percent) but missed all four of its free throw attempts and all five of its three-point field goal attempts.
With as ugly as the first half was, there's really nowhere for this game to go but up. Unofficially, Michigan scored 0.59 points per possession against 0.51 for Wisconsin. For reference, the clubs scored a respective 1.12 and 0.99 points per possession in conference play. For perhaps a better reference, Penn State scored 0.83 points per possession against Wisconsin's 0.76 in the Badgers' embarrassing 36-33 loss in the 2011 Big Ten Tournament.