Michigan drops first Big Ten home game of the season against Wisconsin

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ANN ARBOR (DETROIT FREE PRESS) - The Crisler magic was buried by the Badgers.

No. 15 Michigan may have been the first-place team entering today's showdown with No. 21 Wisconsin, but a slow start made the second-half comeback too much to take and the Wolverines lost, 75-62, today at Crisler Center.

Aside from Caris LeVert's career-high 25 points, the Wolverines (18-7, 10-3 Big Ten) had no offense in just their second home loss of the season.

Glenn Robinson III managed just 10 points and usual leading scorer Nik Stauskas only had 11 as the Wolverines trailed by 18 points in one first-half stretch, making the rest of the game an uphill fight.

It was all LeVert could do to get Michigan within three points with 6:16 to play, but then Wisconsin (21-5, 8-5) answered with a 13-3 run to push the margin back to double digits.

Wisconsin's big men, Frank Kaminsky, with 25 points and 11 rebounds, and Sam Dekker, with 15 points and eight rebounds, terrorized the Wolverines. The Badgers now have won 13 of the past 15 against Michigan.

The loss temporarily dropped the Wolverines out a first-place Big Ten tie with Michigan State, which is hosting Nebraska right now.

Michigan couldn't make up any ground early in the second half, still down 16 with 15 1/2 minutes left.

Then LeVert realized it was getting too late to wait for his teammates.

So he pulled a three, igniting a 7-0 run. That turned into a 23-10 spurt where he had 14 points and the Wolverines got themselves with a chance, closing within three at 52-49.

In a half that they hope to forget, the Wolverines bottomed out in the first 20 minutes, falling behind, 34-19, at the break.

A season-low 19-point half, shooting 31.8% from the field with seven turnovers and no assists.

If that wasn't bad enough on the offensive end, they were hapless on defense, dominated on the glass as Wisconsin had eight offensive rebounds, scoring 16 points in the paint with big men Dekker (10 points) and Kaminsky (eight points, nine rebounds) in control.

Contact Mark Snyder: msnyder@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @mark__snyder.

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