Badgers have no luck against Michigan in 83-72 loss

MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) -- It was more of the same for the Badgers this season. Michigan jumped out to a 15-2 lead to start the game and they never looked back.

"I would say whenever that kind of thing happens, it comes down to focus and just executing our plan and sticking to our rules every time," said Wisconsin guard Brevin Pritzl. "Rules are in place to help us succeed, and when we deviate from them, it doesn't work out for us."

"Obviously, the start, and I'll go through the film to see the specifics, but that's where I felt, ironically, it got away from us," said Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard.

Wisconsin's defense was not there. The Wolverines were 8-14 from behind the arc in the first half. The Badgers would find itself behind by 22 at halftime horn.

"First off, we gave up too many threes," said Wisconsin forward Ethan Happ. "When they start off 7-9 or whatever it was, that opens up a lot of stuff for them. Once we have to go out and defend them deeper on the 3-point line, then that gives up more stuff around the rim and drive and kick, so we just gotta do a better job to start."

But as the Badgers typically do, they fought back in the second half. Wisconsin pulled to within eight at one point on the back of Ethan Happ and his season high 29 points.

"You can't figure out how to guard him and how to play him," said Michigan head coach John Beilein. "I'm just telling you, you have never seen this, and that's a long time of coaching. I've never seen anything like that of how you try to get him."

Happ's effort wouldn't be enough as Wisconsin would fall to Michigan 83-72 and move to 11-16 on the season. Badgers guard Brad Davison said that the team did come out flat, and that it's something that they will have to improve before their game on Thursday at the Kohl Center against Purdue.