Michigan finally played well in an overtime time period, but could not outlast Northwestern in double overtime as they fell to the Wildcats 82-78.
After loosing six of its last seven, Michigan came into Evanston looking for a win to keep its NIT (big sigh) hopes alive.
Aubrey Dawkins played like a star in the first half, scoring 15 points as he showcased his versatility on the court.
Michigan moved the ball around well, and caught fire from the field early. The team shot 50% from beyond the arc, and 55% overall in the first half. They even held a scoring advantage in the paint, which has been an absolute rarity this season.
Scottie Lindsey hit some key jumpers to keep it close, but Northwestern struggled to slow Michigan down on offense. Alex Olah, who has significantly improved over his career, had a relatively quiet first half.
After the first twenty, Michigan led 34-27
Michigan looked to blow away from Northwestern in the second half but the Wildcats were able to keep pace. Michigan took its largest lead at 41-29, but Olah turned it on, and his presence in the paint allowed Northwestern to cut it back within three.
A 16-3 run by the Wildcats put them up 45-44 at the under eight timeout. Michigan hit just one field goal in a near twelve minute span, until Zak Irvin finally hit a floater to end the drought.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman struggled from the floor tonight, but he did hit two huge three pointers to beat out the shot clock buzzer. The second one put the Wolverines back up six.
With just 1:20 to play, JerShon Cobb hit a big three to cut Michigan’s lead to one. Spike Albrecht answered by hitting a 15-footer from straightaway. On the next possession Cobb corralled an offensive board and converted on a layup to make it 55-54. Northwestern then sent Irvin to the line twice and he drained four free throws.
With 16 seconds to play Bryant McIntosh stepped out of bounds and turned the ball over back to Michigan. Irvin missed the 1-and-1, and Tre Demps buried a three with 2.4 to play to tie it.
The Wildcats hit the first five points in overtime, and then Michigan heated up from deep. Yes, in overtime Michigan hit triples. Three of them to be exact – by way of Irvin, Albrecht, and Dawkins. However, Tre Demps hit another three pointer to send it to double overtime.
Despite a couple of deep bombs from Irvin, Northwestern was able to put Michigan to sleep in the second overtime.
Michigan Team Leaders
Points: Zak Irvin — 28
Assists: Spike Albrecht— 8
Rebounds: Zak Irvin — 11
Northwestern Team Leaders
Points: Alex Olah — 25
Assists: Tre Demps — 5
Rebounds: Alex Olah — 12
Michigan with host Rutgers this Saturday at 2:15 PM ET on the Big Ten Network.