The Wisconsin Badgers were able to pull out a much needed victory for their NCAA Tournament hopes, getting a 64-59 win over the Michigan Wolverines.
There was a lot of tension leading up to this game after the brawl last year between Michigan coach Juwan Howard and the comments from Michigan center Hunter Dickinson. The Kohl Center crowd certainly used it as fuel and so did the players.
Wisconsin came out of the gate playing well, moving the ball well, getting offensive rebounds, and looking like the team we've seen earlier in the year. Michigan was able to battle back to take a late lead heading into halftime, up 32-31.
In the second half, Wisconsin was able to get out to a double digit lead behind a huge game from Connor Essegian and Kamari McGee had some big moments as well getting a career high in minutes.
But the second half shooting woes showed up once again. The Badgers went the final 10:46 of game time without making a field goal. They missed their final 15 shots. But luckily Michigan went on a nearly seven minute field goal drought as well.
Ironically enough, it was free throw shooting that saved Wisconsin in this game. The Badgers were 12-14 from the free throw line in the second half and 14-18 overall in the game.
Connor Essegian had a career high 23 points with 3 rebounds and was 9-10 from the free throw line. Steven Crowl had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Max Klesmit added 10 points.
Wisconsin will be looking to build some momentum off this win and get back-to-back wins for the first time since late December-early January. Their next game is at home against Rutgers on Saturday.