Exhale, Michigan fans. A win is a win. The Michigan Wolverines narrowly escape the Northwestern Wildcats winning 72-70 to improve to 10-7 and 4-3 in Big Ten play. In a rare game where Hunter Dickinson struggled, Eli Brooks (12 points), Devante Jones (15 points) and Caleb Houstan (18 points) picked up the slack, all scoring in double figures.
The first half was a close, contested battle all the way through. Northwestern was never able to find a lead in the half, but the lead for Michigan never grew higher than six. Scoring was pretty evenly distributed for both teams, with each team having one player in double figures. Ryan Young had 10 for the Wildcats, and Caleb Houstan continued his strong play with a 12 point half. The Wolverines found their largest lead of the game, 28-22, with around 4 and a half to play, but the Wildcats were able to trim the lead down to 3, making it 34-31 at the break.
Michigan wasted no time in the second half grabbing the momentum. Northwestern was able to get within 1 before Michigan scored 3 points on 4 straight possessions to take a 48-37 lead. The game completely changed after that. Northwestern was immediately able to get right back into the game. The Wildcats quickly trimmed the lead down to make it close, and eventually found their first lead of the game at 56-55 with just under 8 minutes to play, and then began to create some separation. Northwestern eventually went up by seven late in the half. Michigan looked dead in the water before stringing together a late run to re-gain the lead, and eventually win a nail-biter.
Michigan is back in action on Saturday as the team travels to East Lansing for a rivalry showdown against Michigan State.