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Wisconsin cashes in at charity stripe to hang on vs. Michigan


Freshman Connor Essegian scored a career-high 23 points, and Wisconsin held off Michigan 64-59 in Madison, Wis., on Tuesday night despite going without a field goal over the final 10:44.

Michigan shaved a 12-point deficit to within 55-54 as Wisconsin went scoreless for more than five minutes.

Essegian hit two free throws to make it 57-54. Michigan missed three of four free throws, then Essegian hit another pair to put Wisconsin up 59-55 with 44 seconds left.

Jett Howard scored on a drive for the Wolverines, but Max Klesmit answered with two more free throws. Wisconsin's Chucky Hepburn came up with a steal on the ensuing possession and Essegian hit one of two free throws to make it 62-57 with 12.7 seconds remaining.

Essegian hit 6 of 12 shots, including 2 of 7 beyond the arc, and 9 of 10 from the line.

Steven Crowl added 11 points and 12 rebounds for Wisconsin (15-10, 7-8 Big Ten), which blew a 17-point second-half lead in its last game, a 73-63 overtime loss at Nebraska.

Kobe Bufkin had 21 points and Hunter Dickinson chipped in 12 points and 12 boards for Michigan (14-12, 8-7).

Essegian scored on back-to-back drives and then hit two free throws after the Michigan bench was assessed a technical foul to put Wisconsin up 54-42 with 10:27 remaining.

Kamari McGee scored on a drive to cap a 9-2 run that put the Badgers in front 48-40 as the Wolverines committed five turnovers in just under three minutes.

Michigan hit its final five shots of the first half, taking a 32-31 lead at the break on Bufkin's 3-pointer with five seconds to go. The Wolverines closed the half with a 12-4 run as Wisconsin missed eight of its final nine shots.

Wisconsin failed to capitalize on seven offensive rebounds in the first half, generating just two second-chance points.

Essegian and Klesmit hit consecutive 3-pointers to give Wisconsin its biggest lead of the half at 27-20 as Michigan went scoreless for almost 4 1/2 minutes.

--Field Level Media

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