ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's season has been marked by second-half collapses.
The Wolverines found a way to stay ahead and win on Wednesday night, making stops defensively and late free throws against one of the better teams in the country.
Dug McDaniel scored 16 points, including three at the line in the final 19 seconds, to help the Wolverines hold on for a 72-68 win over No. 11 Wisconsin.
"This one felt great, I can't lie," Michigan forward Terrance Williams said.
The Wolverines (8-15, 3-9 Big Ten) had lost five straight, 10 of their last 11 games, and were 0 for 3 in games decided by four or fewer points.
"Very nice gift that the fellas said after in the locker room, basically said this is a birthday gift for you," said Michigan coach Juwan Howard, whose 51st birthday was Wednesday. "It's nice to know that our guys, with a smile on their face, get a chance to sleep on their pillow. Hopefully the food tastes a lot better than it did some other nights."
The Badgers (16-7, 8-4) have lost a season-high three consecutive games.
"I don't think we're off track psychologically," Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said.
The Badgers struggled to make 3-pointers for the second game in a row. They were 5 of 19 from beyond the arc, a game after going 3 of 19 on 3-pointers in a loss to No. 2 Purdue on Sunday.
Gard was more concerned about how poorly his team defended dribble penetration and how careless they were with the ball, especially with some turnovers early in the game.
"If you give any team confidence, let alone one that's really searching for good things to happen, you're asking for trouble," he said.
AJ Storr scored 20 points, Chucky Hepburn had 17 points, Tyler Wahl scored 12 and Max Klesmit added 10 points for the Badgers.
Tarris Reed had 12 points, Will Tschetter scored 11 points and Williams chipped in with 10 points for the Wolverines.
"We were balanced offensively, we did a great job defensively," Tschetter said. "Forty minutes. Forty minutes, going into the game, what we had to do. It couldn't be 20. It couldn't be 25. It couldn't be 35. It needed to be 40."
Michigan led 37-33 at halftime and held on late with some clutch free throws.
McDaniel made the second of two free throws with 19.5 seconds left to give Michigan a 70-66 lead. Hepburn drew a foul with 11.2 seconds to go and made both shots at the line to pull Wisconsin within two points.
McDaniel answered with two free throws on the ensuing possession, sealing the victory.
Wisconsin: Gard's squad has hit its toughest stretch of the season after winning 15 of 17 games and surging in the AP Top 25.
Michigan: Howard's shaken team should get a much-needed confidence boost by competing for an entire game with the 11th-ranked team in the country.
Wisconsin will likely drop in the poll after falling five spots in the AP Top 25 this week following losses to the Boilermakers by six points and wasting an 18-point second-half lead in an eight-point overtime setback against Nebraska.
Wisconsin: Plays at Rutgers on Saturday.
Michigan: Plays at Nebraska on Saturday night.