Wolverines survive overtime scare against Minnesota
Written by Matt Pargoff   

 

Facing a Minnesota squad that had won only once in its last eight outings, Michigan was supposed to win easy. That’s not exactly how things when down though.

The Wolverines struggled offensively for much of the game on Saturday afternoon, making just 8-of-32 shots from three-point range, trailing for nearly the entire contest. That deficit grew to as many as 10 points in the second half before the Maize and Blue were ready to make their move.

Switching to a zone defense down the stretch, the Wolverines outscored the Golden Gophers 23-8 over an 11 minute span, seeming to lock up the win. The story didn’t there though, as free throw troubles plagued Michigan throughout the game, including in the closing moments.

Up five with 12 seconds remaining, the Wolverines gave up a layup, then seemed to draw a foul on the ensuing in-bound to Duncan Robinson. While the Minnesota coaches were calling for their players to foul, and numerous points of contact were made, Robinson was instead hit with a traveling violation, turning the ball over. Minnesota answered with a quick three pointer, sending the game into overtime.

With just four seconds remaining in the tied extra session, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman drove to the basket, used a spin move to get a clean look and scored while drawing the foul and ultimately adding a free throw to win 76-73.

Abdur-Rahkman led the Wolverines with 17 points in the game. Charles Matthews and Moritz Wagner each recorded double-doubles, with Matthews scoring 13 and pulling down 11 rebounds and Wagner adding 16 points and pulling 10 down from the boards.

Zavier Simpson had a rough outing from long range, making just one of his eight three-point attempts, but that one make was crucial, coming in overtime. He finished the game with 15 points, while Robinson also chipped in 10 points.

The Wolverines will have to go back to work on trying to fix their in-game free throw shooting woes, in this matchup making just 12-of-28 from the stripe.

With the win, Michigan improves to 19-6 on the season and 8-4 in conference play. The Wolverines will return to action Tuesday evening, playing at Northwestern at 7 p.m. eastern time on Big Ten Network.


 

 
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