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Updated: Sunday, February 22, 2004 7:05 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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Michigan 71, (10) Wisconsin 59

ANN ARBOR, Michigan (Ticker) -- Michigan added weight to its record with its first victory over a ranked team this season.

Lester Abram scored 17 points and freshman Courtney Sims had 13 of his 14 in the second half to lead the Wolverines to a 71-59 Big Ten Conference rout of No. 10 Wisconsin.

Abram and Bernard Robinson Jr. hit 3-pointers and Graham Brown completed a three-point play in a 13-0 run that turned a two-point deficit into a 38-27 lead with 59 seconds to go before halftime.

The Badgers cut the deficit to 38-32 on a layup by Mike Wilkinson, but Sims threw down a dunk and made a layup to push Michigan's lead back to 10 points. Wisconsin got no closer than eight thereafter.

The victory was Michigan's first over a ranked opponent since defeating Purdue on February 19, 2003. The Wolverines (15-8, 6-6 Big Ten) defeated North Carolina State on December 2, but the Wolfpack were not ranked at the time.

"I felt like we were ready to play," Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said. "We are playing in the moment and not looking ahead in the schedule with needing wins and such. We've played good in stretches before, but from start to finish, this might be one of the best games we've played."

Robinson finished with 11 points and six assists as Michigan extended its home winning streak to four games. The Wolverines improved to 54-14 all-time in Ann Arbor against the Badgers.

"I think this was one of the better games we've played," Robinson said. "We're playing every game like our life is on the line. We talked all week about bringing intensity to the game. If we lost, it wasn't going to be because of that."

Abram felt the team took its cue from Robinson.

"He's the senior on this team and everybody follows him," the sophomore forward said. "He doesn't say a lot (in the locker room), but we look to his motions on the court. He was making passes, going after rebounds. We saw how bad he wanted it."

Devin Harris led Wisconsin (17-6, 8-4) with 18 points but made just 5-of-20 shots, including 1-of-10 from 3-point range.

Wilkinson had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Badgers, who were unable to move into a tie with second-place Illinois. They have dropped consecutive games for the first time this season.

"We just play. We don't worry about the standings," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "We are just going to get ready for our next game and try to take care of business there."


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