Freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis scored 23 points as No. 5 Michigan survived a major scare, holding off host Northwestern 62-60 on Tuesday in Evanston, Ill.
Jordan Poole, the Big Ten’s Player of the Week, supplied 15 points, while Zavier Simpson added 10 points and five assists. Poole’s dunk with less than two minutes left proved to be the deciding score.
Jon Teske chipped in eight points and 10 rebounds for the Wolverines (9-0 overall, 2-0 Big Ten). Michigan, which had a 33-26 rebounding advantage, rallied back after giving away a 16-point lead.
Dererk Pardon fired in 20 points to lead the Wildcats (6-3, 0-2). Vic Law contributed 19 points and seven rebounds.
The Wolverines scored the first nine points of the second half to gain a seemingly comfortable 45-30 lead. Poole capped that spurt with a dunk.
Northwestern roared back with a 15-2 run. A Pardon layup started the outburst. Law and A.J. Turner had three-point plays, sandwiching an Anthony Gaines layup, to finish it off.
Simpson’s layup with 12:12 remaining stopped the run. Law’s 3-pointer with 7:25 remaining cut Michigan’s lead to 51-49.
Law drained another less than a minute later to give Northwestern its first lead. Eli Brooks’ 3-pointer with 4:43 remaining put Michigan back in front at 57-56. Ryan Taylor’s jumper with 2:09 left allowed Northwestern to tie it at 60-all.
Poole answered with a dunk 16 seconds later. Northwestern had the last shot, but Taylor’s desperation 3-point try bounced off the backboard and rim and fell away.
Pardon scored 16 first-half points but Michigan emerged with a 36-30 lead.
The Wolverines scored the game’s first seven points and gained a double-digit advantage within eight minutes when Brazdeikis made a 3-pointer.
Northwestern responded with a 7-0 spurt, including a Law three. The Wolverines came right back with a 11-2 run, including seven points from Brazdeikis.
The Wildcats chipped away and got the deficit down to six on Law’s 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer.
—Field Level Media