Game 13 recap: MI bests Wisconsin to claim Big Ten tourney title

The Purdue Boilermakers celebrate a 76-75 win against Ohio State at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio on Thursday Jan. 5 2017

A turnaround 3-pointer from Zak Irvin as the shot clock expired extended Michigan's lead to 54-45 with 5:14 left in the first half.

That didn't matter, and MI cruised to a 75-55 victory over the Illini behind 19 points from Derrick Walton Jr. and 18 each from Zak Irvin Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman.

Derrick Walton Jr. leads the Wolverines with 16 points. The turnover-to-assist ratio of 12-to-5 was the worst of the season, and the only other effort that came close was an 11-turnover, 5-assist disaster at IL - which was another extremely stagnant performance.

But he looked strong against MI, scoring 13 points in the first half. Wisconsin senior Nigel Hayes said the Badgers will take any advantage they can get.

UW shot 53.8% in the first half (14 of 26) to stay within a point but slumped to 26.7% (8 of 30) in the second half.

When Hayes' putback cut Michigan's lead to 54-47, junior Duncan Robinson sprinted around a screen and made a 3-pointer that restored Michigan's double-digit lead with 3:49 remaining. Walton hit four of them - three from beyond the arc - to give MI a 72-63 lead with 5:18 left.


This marks Michigan's first official Big Ten tournament title since the event's inception in 1998.

The Wolverines have scored the first six of the half, and lead 39-32 at the first media timeout. "That's probably a product of us doing things the right way, listening to the coaches, playing together as a team, having fun", said Hayes, who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds to help the Badgers advanced to Sunday's championship game against MI, which beat Minnesota, 84-77, in the other semifinal. Duncan Robinson chipped in 10 points in the winning effort for MI. Then Walton caught fire from outside, and MI took a 69-63 lead on his basket with 6:05 to go.

Big men Moritz Wagner - everyone calls him Mo, and the last name is pronounced Vog-ner - and D.J. Wilson both have the ability to shoot from long range. Irvin was a key reason for that, doing a little bit of everything with 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Associated Press When Bronson Koenig is hitting from the perimeter, the Badgers' offense can be formidable. The Wildcats had just one assist in the first 31 minutes and finished with just five against 12 turnovers. Every rare occasion where it seemed like Northwestern might start to make a run, the Badgers would respond with an easy three, bucket in the paint or some other run-killer.

Wisconsin is on a 7-0 run, which cut the Wolverines' lead from 30-20 to 30-27 in almost four minutes. In the first half, he had 12 points. Having a confident Koenig hitting from the 3-point line should force defenses to think twice about doubling Happ and Hayes. Showalter, with help from Jordan Hill, helped limit McIntosh to 4-of-12 shooting and eight points. That allowed MI to extend the lead to 39-32 with 14:53 left.

The Badgers led by 17 at halftime and were really never threatened in the second half.

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