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Wisconsin upsets No. 2 Michigan in 64-54 win

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HUGE win to break a rough streak.

Dan Sanger

MADISON—Down goes No. 2 Michigan.

With redshirt senior forward Ethan Happ leading the way, the Wisconsin Badgers upset the Wolverines in a 64-54 win at the Kohl Center on Saturday.

In a tightly-contested conference match-up, the programs combined for nine lead changes and eight ties before UW ultimately pulled away late.

Happ scored a game-high 26 points on 12-of-22 shooting while grabbing 10 rebounds and seven assists. Sixteen of those came in a second half where Wisconsin (12-6, 4-3 Big Ten) shot 53.6 percent from the field and came up clutch late in the game.

The All-American candidate, Happ, was the only Badger to score in double figures on the afternoon. Forwards Aleem Ford and Nate Reuvers both scored nine points and combined for three three-pointers, while sophomore guard Brad Davison scored eight points with four rebounds and three assists in the win.

Overall as a team, Wisconsin shot 44.8 percent (26-of-58) from the field, 5-of-13 from three-pointer range. UW dished out 17 assists while committing 11 turnovers in the contest.

For Michigan (17-1, 6-1), three players scored in double figures in the loss. Center Jon Teske tallied a team-high 15 points with seven rebounds and four blocks. Jordan Poole recorded 14 points while Zavier Simpson scored 11. Poole and Simpson combined to shoot 11-of-27 from the field, 2-of-8 from three-point range.

The Wolverines also tied their season-high in turnovers with 16 in there first loss of their 2018-19 campaign.

Michigan utilized a 6-0 run to take a 27-25 lead at halftime. Both teams shot poorly in the first half. The Wolverines only making 41.4 percent (12 of 29) of their field goal attempts from while the Badgers only connected on 36.7 percent (11 of 30) from the field. Despite being out rebounded 21-14, Wisconsin dished out nine assists and forced Michigan into seven turnovers in the first 20 minutes.

In the second half, it remained close. A Teske three-pointer at the 17:06 mark extended Michigan’s largest lead of the second half to five points at 34-29, but Wisconsin kept it within a two-possession game and whittled the deficit repeatedly when the Wolverines tried to push ahead.

Ford came up big in those final 20 minutes with six key points. His second three-pointer at the 12:55 mark gave Wisconsin its first lead of the half at 40-39, and then later, he connected on a free throw with an “and one” to tie the game at 43-43.

After a Charles Matthews free throw gave Michigan a slight advantage, Wisconsin opened up a 7-0 run to make it 50-44 with 5:49 left in the game as two Happ baskets and a Kobe King three rocked the Kohl Center.

King scored six points, both on three-pointers, but also grabbed five rebounds for Wisconsin in 31:12 of play.

Michigan kept it close until the final 60 seconds, but Wisconsin would not relent the lead. Two D’Mitrik Trice free throws (six points, three rebounds, three assists) extended the lead to six at 57-51 with 72 seconds remaining.

Isaiah Livers drained a three-pointer with less than a minute, cutting the deficit in half. Thereafter, however, Michigan’s Ignas Brazdeikis was called for a Flagrant 1 (intentional) foul against Happ with about 51 seconds left.

Happ made one of two free throws to make it a two-possession game, and with the ball in Wisconsin’s possession after that foul, the big man then came up with an offensive rebound on his own miss and scored on a layup. That made it a six-point lead with just about 15 seconds remaining.

UW, for that matter, out-rebounded Michigan 18-13 in the second half.

Simpson missed a three-pointer with 11 seconds left with Happ grabbing the board and passing it to Reuvers for a game-clinching dunk with four seconds remaining.

Davison stole the ball on the ensuing Michigan possession and capped the scoring—and the upset—with two final free throws.

Overall, a 7-0 run in the final 51 seconds ultimate clinched the win, which led to the Wisconsin faithful storming the court.