Charles Matthews had 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals to lead No. 24 Michigan past mistake-prone Northwestern 58-47 on Monday night.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman contributed 11 points, four rebounds and three assists for the Wolverines (18-6 overall, 7-4 Big Ten), who had lost two of their last three games. Moritz Wagner added eight points and eight rebounds, while Duncan Robinson and Jordan Poole chipped in eight points apiece off the bench for Michigan.
Scottie Lindsey was the only Wildcat in double figures. He scored 15 points, while Dererk Pardon supplied nine points and seven rebounds. Bryant McIntosh and Vic Law, who average 13 points apiece, only combined for 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting from the field.
Northwestern shot 38.3 percent overall and 25 percent from long range while committing 16 turnovers. The Wolverines shot 42 percent overall and 28 percent on 3-point tries and turned it over just five times.
The Wildcats’ zone gave the Wolverines problems.
“We hadn’t seen it in really two months,” Wolverines coach John Beilein said in the postgame interview. “We had to get our playbook back out and get our guys used to it. Thank God we got a two-day prep.”
The first half was a defensive struggle, with Michigan emerging with a 21-19 lead. The Wolverines scored the last 10 points of the half, including five from Abdur-Rahkman. The Wildcats missed their last nine shot attempts and committed four turnovers during that span.
Michigan also scored the first five points of the second half on Matthews’ jumper and Isaiah Livers’ 3-pointer. Lindsey made three free throws to end the Wildcats’ scoring drought.
Wagner’s 3-pointer with 16:21 remaining made it 32-24 but Northwestern reeled off the next six points.
Leading 41-38, Michigan pushed its lead to double digits with a 7-0 spurt. Wagner got it started with a jumper and Matthews got behind Northwestern’s zone and dunked in a Zavier Simpson feed. Wagner then added a free throw and another jumper.
Simpson’s free throws with 1:49 remaining extended the Wolverines’ lead to 11.
—Field Level Media