Madison, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Nik Stauskas netted a game-high 23 points and carried Michigan down the stretch as the Wolverines took down No. 3 Wisconsin, 77-70, in a Big Ten battle from Kohl Center.
Michigan (13-4, 5-0 Big Ten) never trailed in the second half, but led by just a point with less than a minute remaining when Stauskas drilled the biggest shot of the game, a stepback 3-pointer which silenced the crowd and gave the visitors a 71-67 lead. The sophomore guard then made 6-of-6 from the foul line to seal the outcome.
Caris LeVert stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals in the Wolverines' first win in Madison since 1999. Glenn Robinson III added 14 points for Michigan, which had lost 11 in a row at Kohl Center.
"This Wisconsin program is so good and people make a lot of the Kohl Center because it is a great atmosphere and you have great fans in here," said Michigan head coach John Beilein. "But for us to just beat Wisconsin at any time with the way they've run their program, it really feels good for our staff and our team."
Josh Gasser scored 16 points on just seven shots in defeat, while Sam Dekker tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds in Wisconsin's (16-2, 3-2) second straight loss after a program-best 16-0 start. Frank Kaminsky and Ben Brust scored 14 points apiece.
"It's a very humbling game for sure, but we have no time to feel sorry for ourselves because we're (going) on the road and I think everyone knows that it's not easy to win road games in the Big Ten," Brust said.
LeVert had the hot hand early for Michigan. His two 3-pointers sandwiched a Jon Horford slam, and the Wolverines led 15-8 before the first media timeout.
The cushion grew to 21-12 on Robinson's jumper, but Gasser kept the hosts close with a pair of treys.
Michigan never took its foot off the gas, with its lead reaching 10 points on two separate occasions over the first 20 minutes. Brust's jumper at 2:07 made it 43-38, and both teams went scoreless the rest of the half.
Kaminsky's tip-in was the lone Wisconsin bucket over the first 5 1/2 minutes of the second half as Michigan rebuilt a double-digit lead. Zak Irvin's jumper gave the Maize and Blue their biggest margin at 59-44.
The Badgers' deficit remained in double figures until Gasser's 3-pointer sparked a 10-0 run to pull within 66-63. Kaminsky's 3-ball from the top of the key capped the flurry at 4:07.
Stauskas finally ended the rally with a pull-up jumper out of the final media timeout to restore Michigan's two-possession lead.
Jackson and Brust made layups to pull the Badgers within a point, but they never got over the hump. The Wolverines took the clock down under a minute on their next touch before Stauskas put the team on his back with his stepback 3.