Michigan's Hunter Dickinson poses big obstacle for No. 15 Wisconsin
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Michigan's Hunter Dickinson provides the next big challenge for the 15th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers when they host the Wolverines in a Big Ten matchup on Sunday.
Wisconsin (20-5, 11-4 Big Ten) rallied for a 74-69 victory at Indiana on Tuesday when leading scorer Johnny Davis tallied the Badgers' final 13 points, giving them 20 victories for the 17th time in the last 20 seasons.
The Wolverines (14-10, 8-6), on the postseason bubble, are coming off a huge 84-79 road win at Iowa on Thursday behind a career-best 28 points from 6-11 freshman forward Moussa Diabate.
"I loved how our guys hung through those up-and-down type of valleys where, when they went on a run, we responded," Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. "We didn't put our heads down. We got stops when we needed, and then we also got key buckets when we needed, as well. And that was from a collective unit."
Michigan has won six of the last eight against the Badgers, including both games last season.
Dickinson, a 7-foot-1 sophomore, leads the Wolverines with 17.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. He had 14 points and nine rebounds along with seven assists against Iowa, after scoring 20 or more four times in his previous six games.
Dickinson totaled 23 points in Michigan's two victories over Wisconsin last season, and pulled down 15 rebounds in the second meeting, which is tied for career high.
The Badgers' 7-foot tandem of sophomore Steven Crowl and reserve grad transfer Chris Vogt have struggled against elite frontcourt players. Indiana forward Trayce Jackson-Davis had 30 points on 10-of-13 shooting on Tuesday. Illinois center Kofi Cockburn had 37 points, making 16 of 19 shots, and 12 rebounds in an 80-67 victory over Wisconsin on Feb. 2.
Although Wisconsin defeated then third-ranked Purdue in early January, Boilermakers center Zach Edey had 24 points and 10 rebounds.
Davis, who finished with 30 points and 12 rebounds against Indiana, leads Wisconsin with 20.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.
"Some of it was scripted down the stretch, and there were some things that, obviously he makes terrific plays on his own," Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. "He can create something out of nothing at times. But maybe you can say it was good coaching -- put the ball in his hands."
Fifth-year senior Brad Davison (14.7 ppg) hit 3 of 8 beyond the arc against Indiana, after going 4-for-28 from 3-point range over his previous four games. The Badgers rank next-to-last in the Big Ten in 3-point percentage at just 31.1 percent.
In two games last season against the Wolverines, Davison was 2 of 14 from the field, including 1 of 8 from deep.
Freshman point guard Chucky Hepburn has committed only 31 turnovers this season while averaging 30.8 minutes per game.
Wisconsin, which bounced back from a tough home loss to Rutgers to top Indiana, is 12-1 in games decided by six points or less and ranks first in the nation in fewest turnovers per game at 8.6.
Senior guard Eli Brooks averages 12.4 points and 6-8 freshman Caleb Houstan 10.0 for Michigan, which has won three of its last four -- including an 82-58 rout of Purdue. Diabate adds 5.8 boards per game as the Wolverines have a 6.1 rebounding margin over opponents.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 18, 2022