Fueled by a career-high 28 points in his final regular season game as a Michigan Wolverine, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman lifted the Wolverines to their best first half this season.
Putting together a 30-point lead heading into the locker room, U-M (24-7, 13-5 Big Ten) topped Maryland (19-12, 8-10) 85-61 on Saturday afternoon in XFINITY Arena.
The win wraps up the regular season for U-M on a five-game winning streak and gives them a winning record on the road this campaign at 6-5.
It was a slow start out of the gates for the Wolverines, turning the ball over three times in their fist six possessions which led to a 6-3 Terps advantage.
However, the hot hand of senior guard Abdur-Rahkman found three triples early on and gave the Wolverines an 18-12 lead nearing the 12 minute mark of the first half.
Then U-M’s hottest freshman of late Jordan Poole sunk a pair of back-to-back 3-pointers and forced Mark Turgeon into calling a timeout with 7:56 to go in the half, down 31-18.
Abdur-Rahkman just couldn’t be stopped as he sunk two more triples, guiding U-M to a 16-4 run, as the Wolverines led 39-20 nearing the four minute mark.
It was a more than fitting end to the first 20 minutes, as Abdur-Rahkman hit his sixth triple in transition giving U-M a 54-24 lead at the break.
U-M had runs of 8-0, 10-0 and 9-0 in the first half. Abdur-Rahkman’s 22 points nearly matched the Terps 24-point total as the Wolverines went 11-of-19 from downtown.
Maryland would put together a 8-0 early in the second half, but still trailed 57-35 at the 15:09 mark.
After an alley-oop from the Terps senior center Michal Cekovsky, the Wolverines lead was cut to 20 points, 72-52 with 6:27 to go.
It was just too little, too late for Maryland as the Wolverines could essentially kill clock until the finish.
Outside of Abdur-Rahkman’s 28 tallies, Poole scored 12 points, Charles Matthews had a solid rebound game from earlier this week with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and Simpson scored 10 points, respectively.
The Wolverines shot 51 percent from the field and 48 percent (15-of-31) from beyond the arc for the game. Nine different U-M players scored.
U-M is currently sitting in the fourth seed position for the Big Ten Tournament, will await the outcome of Penn State at Nebraska (21-9, 12-5). If Nebraska wins, they earn the first round bye due to holding the tie-breaker over U-M. If they lose, U-M will keep that No. 4 seed and earn the first round bye.
- U-M had runs of 8-0, 9-0 and 10-0 in the first half.
- The Wolverines’ bench outscored Maryland 22-2 in the first half and 28-13 for the game.
- Transfer point guard Jaaron Simmons had one of his better games this season, scoring seven points on 3-of-3 shooting.