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Caleb Houstan’s five triples help Michigan beat Rutgers

The Wolverines inch closer to the NCAA Tournament.

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

Despite being down two players and a head coach, the Michigan Wolverines picked up a big win at home beating the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 71-62 with assistant coach Phil Martelli leading the squad.

Caleb Houstan was big from behind the arc for Michigan, knocking down five deep ones. Houstan finished with 21 points. Hunter Dickinson (16 points), Devante Jones (14 points) and Eli Brooks (11 points) were all in double figures as well.

First Half

Michigan held a steady lead for just about the entire half. It was back and forth the whole way with no runs, and not a lot of deep balls or highlight plays either. Rutgers was 0-of-4 from deep while Michigan was 2-of-10, with both threes coming from Caleb Houstan. Ron Harper Jr. led Rutgers with 10 points and Hunter Dickinson led the Wolverines with 12. Michigan went into the break up 32-20.

Second Half

After Michigan led almost the entire first half, it didn’t take Rutgers long to get things even in the second half. The Scarlet Knights chipped away to get the game tied after being down six, but Michigan quickly responded. Houstan knocked down back-to-back threes to get Crisler energized and Michigan was immediately back up six, leading 44-38. Rutgers quickly got it back to two before the Wolverines went on another run and stretched the lead into double digits. Rutgers wasn’t able to overcome the large deficit, and Michigan picked up a big W at home.

One interesting stat from the game was this was the first Big Ten game Michigan shot between 25-40% from three, as the Wolverines shot 33% from deep tonight.

This was the first of four straight home games for Michigan, all against projected tournament teams. There are a lot of chances for good wins, and up next is Illinois on Sunday.