On Jan. 18, Nik Stauskas scored 23 points Michigan’s 77-70 win over then-No. 3 Wisconsin inside the Kohl Center. That was at the point of the season where both teams were going in opposite directions. The Wolverines had won seven straight, a streak that would reach 10 games. Wisconsin, on the other hand, had dropped its second consecutive, the start of slump in which the Badgers lost five of six games.
Sunday afternoon, Wisconsin returned the favor with a 75-62 road victory in Ann Arbor, controlling the game from the start, and answering a Michigan threat in the second half.
Frank Kaminsky had a big afternoon with 25 points and 11 rebounds (he had 14 and four in the first meeting) and dominated the Michigan forwards on the block. The Wisconsin offense started out hot, hitting 5-of-6 from the field to start the game, and took care of the basketball throughout — 10 assists to two turnovers.
Michigan, however, struggled in the first half with only 19 points, off 32 percent shooting. Despite its best effort, Michigan’s first half was too big of a hole to dig out of. The Wolverines cut the lead to five, 52-49, with Caris LeVert, who scored a career-high 25, doing most of the damage. The Badgers responded with a 10-2 run to put the game out of reach.
Outside of LeVert, Michigan struggled offensively, a product of the Wisconsin defense, which limited Michigan’s transition opportunities in the first half. John Gasser, who gives up three inches, was also able to hold Nik Stauskas to 11 points off 4-of-11 shooting while Glenn Robinson III, Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin shot a combined 6-of-22 for 16 points. And for Walton, this is coming off the best game of his young career against Ohio State.
Overall, this was just a bad afternoon for the Wolverines, but this outing might be cause for concern. Stauskas’ points per game are down in the last five games (Michigan 2-3 in that stretch) and Robinson has had his struggles offensively as well over the course of the past few weeks.
Michigan has a week-off before hosting Michigan State on Sunday afternoon, with first place in the Big Ten potentially on the line.