Michigan Takes Down Rutgers, 71-64, Improving Its Record To 15-1
The Michigan Wolverines' basketball team continued their winning ways tonight, picking up a 71-64 victory over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Crisler Center. Did you miss any of the action for some reason?
There is no need to fret, because we have you covered with a complete recap below...
Sophomore guard Franz Wagner got Michigan on the board first tonight, draining two free throws at the 19:07 mark to put his club up 2-0. U-M's offense went cold after that though, with Rutgers holding a 7-4 lead at the under-16 timeout.
The Wolverines were just one-of-four from the field at that point. The Scarlet Knights extended their margin to 11-6, before senior guard Chaundee Brown connected on a three-pointer at 13:18 to make it 11-9.
The battle rattled around on the rim several times before falling through. Rutgers' lead sat at 11-9 at the under-12 media timeout. Fifth-year senior forward Austin Davis finally gave Michigan the lead with a slam dunk at 10:02, putting his club up 15-13.
Wagner had a nifty wrap-around assist on the play. Fifth-year senior guard Mike Smith splashed home a triple with 8:35 remaining to stretch U-M's edge to 19-15, and junior forward Brandon Johns joined in on the three-point parade with a triple of his own on Michigan's ensuing possession.
Johns' bucket made the score 22-15. Rutgers trimmed the Wolverines' lead to 24-20 at the under-eight timeout, though Michigan was a red-hot three-of-six from deep at that point.
Wagner extended U-M's advantage back to seven (31-24) when he connected on a corner three-pointer at 3:56, with senior guard Eli Brooks assisting on the play. Michigan's margin was 33-26 at the under-four timeout, with Wagner's seven points leading the team.
Freshman center Hunter Dickinson gave the Maize and Blue their biggest advantage of the night when he cashed in a tough layup in traffic with 2:20 to go, making the score 35-26.
A short base line jumper from Wagner as the half expired saw Michigan maintain its nine-point lead, taking a 37-28 edge into the break. The 6-9 guard ended the half as the club's leading scorer with nine points.
Dickinson got Michigan's scoring started in the second half with two free throws to make it 39-30. Smith was fouled shooting a three-pointer on the Wolverines' next possession and connected on two of three from the charity stripe, giving U-M its biggest lead at 41-30.
Dickinson extended the advantage to 43-30 with a two-handed slam at 16:58, and the Maize and Blue's lead was 45-30 at the under-16 timeout. Michigan's defense was holding Rutgers to just 36 percent shooting at that point.
Wagner went on a quick 7-0 run of his own (a three-pointer, two free throws and a layup) to give the Wolverines their biggest edge of the night at 52-36 with 12:56 left in the game.
Th Maize and Blue's lead was 56-39 at the under-12 timeout, with Wagner's 16 points representing a game-high. Michigan was on a scoring drought of 4:16 when the under-eight timeout hit, however, though it still maintained a 56-43 advantage.
A Livers free throw was one of the few bright spots for U-M's offense until the next media break, with a driving layup from Smith at 5:11 representing the Wolverines' only bucket during that stretch.
Smith's basket made the score 59-45. The sluggish offensive play persisted on both sides, with Michigan holding onto a 60-49 lead at the under-four break. Rutgers refused to go away, with redshirt junior center Myles Johnson converting back-to-back and-ones, trimming U-M's lead to just 63-55 with 1:47 to go.
Wagner all but squashed the Scarlet Knights' hopes of a comeback though, drilling a three-pointer from the left wing with just 1:08 left to put U-M on top 66-55. Brown wrapped up Michigan's scoring with two free throws with 14 seconds remaining, and the Maize and Blue held on for a 71-64 win.
Wagner finished as the game's leading scorer with 20 points, with U-M shooting 46 percent as a team from the field. The Wolverines' next game will be Sunday at Ohio State.
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