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Michigan gets by Northwestern, wins third straight at home

While the Wolverines got off to a slow start, they played better second half offense and held the Wildcats in check to win their seventh Big Ten game.

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

After scoring 88 points but allowing 92 to Purdue last Thursday, the Wolverines welcomed Northwestern to Ann Arbor on Monday evening.

In this game, the Wolverines played the complete opposite way, in both scoring categories.

U-M (18-6, 7-4 Big Ten) held the Wildcats (13-10, 4-6) in check offensively and mustered up enough second half offense to win 58-47 over NW at the Crisler Center.

At one point, the Wildcats didn’t score a field goal for 10:18, dating from the first half into the early second half.

The win moved U-M to 12-1 at home this season, marking its third consecutive win at the Crisler Center.


NW Guards Scottie Lindsey and Bryant McIntosh opened the game with a pair of buckets for the Wildcats to give them the early 7-3 advantage.

The Wolverines continued to stay cold on offense, not scoring for a stretch of 3:11 while NW hit a couple more buckets to extend its lead to 14-5 with 12 minutes to go in the half.

Transfer guard Duncan Robinson would get a couple transition buckets including a dunk, but another Lindsey 3-pointer kept NW ahead 19-11 with 6:33 to go in the first half.

Freshman guard Jordan Poole would hit a wide open corner 3-ball to pull the Wolverines within three points at the under four minute timeout.

The Wolverines would continue on a 10-0 run capped off by beautiful passing for a Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman triple to give U-M its first lead at 21-19 with 1:50 to play in the half.

The would remain the score at halftime as the Wildcats didn’t score a point for the final 7:06 of the first half.

U-M was just 20 percent (3-of-15) from beyond the arc and got 11 of it’s 21 points from the bench, as Robinson lead the team with six points.

NW turned the ball over eight times and had zero fast break points.

To open the second half, that 3-point percentage quickly rose.

Poole, Abdur-Rahkman and Moritz Wagner all made a triple to open the half, but NW hit a few jumpers to keep the score close at 32-28 U-M.

Matthews would hit a corner triple followed by a steal and slam to keep U-M in front by four, 39-35, with 10:40 left to play.

The dunks kept coming for Matthews as point guard Zavier Simpson found him alone for a two-handed flush to give U-M a 45-38 lead with 7:21 remaining in regulation.

That lead would only grow for the Wolverines for the rest of the game.

Matthews had one of his better offensive performances in weeks to lead the Wolverines with 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting while adding seven rebounds. Abdur-Rahkman had 11 points respectively. Robinson, Poole and Wagner all had eight points.

The Wolverines forced 16 turnovers and only committed five themselves, while holding NW to zero fast break points for the game.

U-M was out-rebounded 34-28 by NW, but got 18 bench points compared to the Wildcats six.

Game notes

  • Charles Matthews was the only U-M player with points for the first 10 minutes of the first half.
  • U-M had 21 points at halftime, tying its season low when they scored 21 in the first half at Nebraska.
  • Freshman guard Eli Brooks played five minutes to back up Simpson, taking the backup role from transfer guard Jaaron Simmons who had a few turnovers against Purdue.
  • NW’s 47 points is tied with Rutgers for the lowest amount of points from a Big Ten opponent against the Wolverines this season.