No. 6 Wisconsin holds off Michigan in OT as Kaminsky comes up big
Frank Kaminsky and his Wisconsin Badgers kept their cool after a last-second shot sent them to overtime.
Kaminsky scored eight of his 22 points in the extra session, and No. 6 Wisconsin held off Michigan 69-64 on Saturday night. The Wolverines tied the game on Derrick Walton’s 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds left in regulation, but the Badgers went right back to their 7-footer, and Kaminsky put Wisconsin ahead to stay with a three-point play to open the scoring in overtime.
"He’s one of the best players in the country," Badgers coach Bo Ryan said. "I don’t say that very often because I let other people judge. Frank means a lot to this team."
Michigan (12-8, 5-3 Big Ten) is without standout guard Caris LeVert, who is out for the season following foot surgery, but the Wolverines pushed Wisconsin throughout with an inspired effort. The Badgers led by 11 in the second half before Michigan rallied.
Sam Dekker scored 15 points for Wisconsin.
Walton scored 17 points for Michigan, and Zak Irvin added 12.
"The pats on the back about `good game’ — I absolutely hate after a loss," Wolverines coach John Beilein said. "At the same time, when we go over what needs to be fixed tomorrow, we’ll also be showing what’s been fixed."
Wisconsin led by four in the final minute of regulation but helped the Wolverines by missing a couple free throws. Then the Badgers left Walton a bit too open on the left wing for the 3-pointer that tied it at 57.
Ryan said his team will occasionally foul with a three-point lead, but there is concern about accidentally fouling someone in the act of shooting in that situation.
"That quick twitch, that’s all you have to do and you can get a shooting foul," he said.
After tying the game in dramatic fashion, Michigan still had to deal with Kaminsky. Even when the Wolverines were in a zone defense, he was a threat near the basket, and Wisconsin took care of the ball down the stretch. The Badgers turned it over six times in the first half but only twice after that.
After Kaminsky’s three-point play early in overtime, a 3-pointer by Josh Gasser put Wisconsin (18-2, 6-1) ahead by six.
"Josh hit some big baskets and I was able to make a couple," Kaminsky said. "We had some new guys step up, too, but you always want to have veterans in a situation like that."
Wisconsin scored the final nine points of the first half, taking a 30-23 lead on a 3-pointer by Nigel Hayes in the final seconds.
It was 38-27 before the Wolverines scored 11 straight points to tie it. Michigan conceded a few open shots from the perimeter, and the Badgers had a hard time taking advantage, finishing 7 of 21 from 3-point range.
Ricky Doyle, Mark Donnal and Max Bielfeldt combined for 19 points and 13 rebounds for Michigan, holding their own inside against Kaminsky.
"We had some follow-up baskets," Beilein said. "That’s the way it’s going to be — collectively, they’re going to have to give us as much as they can."
The Wolverines’ NCAA tournament hopes took a major hit when they lost LeVert, but the Crisler Center crowd did its best to boost the home team, and when the game was over, there was a fair amount of applause even though Michigan had lost.
Wisconsin also lost a key player recently when Traevon Jackson injured his foot at Rutgers on Jan. 11. The Badgers have won three in a row since then.
Bronson Koenig made his fourth start of the season Saturday and played 40 minutes. He scored 13 points with a team-high four assists.
Wisconsin: The Badgers have won 14 of their last 16 against Michigan.
Michigan: The Wolverines’ bench outscored Wisconsin’s 26-0.
Wisconsin: Plays at No. 25 Iowa next Saturday.
Michigan: Hosts Nebraska on Tuesday night.