Michigan 50

(12-14, 3-9 Big Ten)

(20) Wisconsin 76

(17-6, 8-4 Big Ten)

    9:00 PM ET, February 16, 2005

    Kohl Center, Madison, Wisconsin

    1 2 T
    MICH 17 3350
    #20WIS 37 3976

    Top Performers

    Michigan: C. Sims 16 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Wisconsin: M. Wilkinson 22 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Bigger competition is better for Wilkinson

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Michigan has some of the Big Ten's better big men and they always bring out the best in Mike Wilkinson.

    Wilkinson's 22 points and nine rebounds helped No. 20 Wisconsin hand Michigan its school record-tying ninth straight loss, 76-50 on Wednesday night.

    In the Badgers' season sweep of the Wolverines -- their first since 1979 -- Wilkinson had 50 points and 24 rebounds.

    What is it about the Wolverines?

    "I'm not sure," Wilkinson said. "They've got some good big guys that play hard all the time. It's just a challenge. It's fun to go out there and play against good guys, good competition. And that's what they are. I've been fortunate to shoot pretty well."

    The Wolverines, who have lost a total of 68 games to injuries and other reasons, were hoping the return of 6-foot-11 forward Chris Hunter would give them another big body to match up with Wilkinson. He scored 28 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the Badgers' 71-62 win at Ann Arbor last month when Hunter was out with an ankle injury.

    But Hunter lost his footing under the Badgers' basket in the opening minutes and hobbled off. Coach Tommy Amaker said he apparently aggravated his high left ankle sprain. He was limited to 9 minutes and scored two points, sitting out the second half altogether.

    "I think it definitely helped that he was out," Wilkinson said. "Any time you take a guy his size and his athletic ability out of the game, it can make a difference."

    It wasn't just Hunter's absence, however, that allowed Wilkinson to burn the Wolverines again.

    "Take your pick. I think he has terrific hands," Amaker said. "He has great instincts. He never seems like he's out of position or off-balance. He scores inside and out. I just think he's a terrific basketball player. It starts with his mind and his savvy, but then he certainly has terrific skills to go with that."

    Wilkinson scored 13 points in the first half as the Badgers raced to a 37-17 lead. They were never threatened over the final 20 minutes, stretching the lead to 30 points.

    Zach Morley added 12 points and Alando Tucker and Ray Nixon each scored 10 for Wisconsin (17-6, 8-4 Big Ten). Nixon's total was a career high.

    The only other time the Wolverines (12-14, 3-9) lost nine straight was when they dropped their last eight games in 1966-67 and the opener the following season. Michigan has to beat Indiana at home this weekend to avoid setting the school's futility mark.

    "We're going to keep trying to find ways to end it," Amaker said. "It's obviously a tough time for our team and our kids. But we're not going to stop trying."

    Courtney Sims led Michigan with 16 points and Dion Harris had 15.

    The Badgers outscored the Wolverines by 18 points from beyond the arc, hitting six 3-pointers while Michigan went 0-for-8 in the first half.

    "At the early stages of the game we really struggled to put the ball in the basket," Amaker said. "We missed close-in shots and dunk opportunities. I thought they got out of the box early, shooting the 3 ball. They really put us on our heels and it really just went downhill from there."

    The Wolverines didn't reach double figures until Brown's basket with 7:16 left in the first half. By that time, Wilkinson was well on his way to double figures himself.

    Tucker said the Badgers wanted to get back to their basics after Wilkinson was limited to four shots in a loss to top-ranked Illinois last weekend.

    "We wanted to make a statement. We still are an in-the-paint, low-post kind of team," Tucker said. "We work inside-outside. We were getting away from that the last couple of games."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 50 76
    FG Made-Attempted 18-49 (.367) 27-56 (.482)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-18 (.278) 8-17 (.471)
    FT Made-Attempted 9-12 (.750) 14-24 (.583)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 12 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 2 30

    2004-05 Season

    Jan 22, 2005 WIS 72, @MICH 61Recap
    » Feb 16, 2005 @WIS 76, MICH 50Recap