ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Hunter Dickinson, Franz Wagner and undefeated Michigan look ready to race in a loaded Big Ten.
Dickinson scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half, and the Wolverines, ranked 16th, defeated No. 19 Northwestern 85-66 on Sunday night.
This was the first time these teams met while both were ranked in the Top 25, but this game was not a contest after Michigan scored the last nine points of the first half.
Wagner, Chauncey Brown and Eli Brooks each scored 14 points for the Wolverines (9-0, 4-0). They are the last team left from the Big Ten without losing.
” I think we have so many different weapons,” Brooks said. “They protect the first action will, we have three elite talents on the other side.”
There were nine Big Ten teams in the most recent AP Top 25, and four of them were ahead of Michigan despite the Wolverines’ immaculate record, but this performance against a ranked opponent should resonate. Michigan took control toward the end of the first half and then quickly expanded its lead early in the second.
Robbie Beran scored 14 points for Northwestern (6-3, 3-2). The Wildcats have dropped two in a row after a promising start.
Michigan led 34-29 near the end of the first half as the Wolverines scored three 3s to go 43-29 at halftime. Brooks had two and Wagner did the other.
” We tried to give a push at the end of the first half,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. ” We cut it down to five, and then they hit three triples. I thought that was the key moment of the game. ”
So Michigan really pulled away in the second. An alley-oop dunk from Brooks made it 58-38, and it was 63-40 after a triple from Isaiah Livers. The Wolverines led by up to 29 points.
Northwestern guard Boo Buie was injured in the first half of a play when he fumbled near the middle of the court and Brown went the other way for a dunk that made it 34-24. Buie remained on the court and appeared to be holding his right knee, and had to be slowly helped to the sideline.
He was able to come back but finished scoreless with 0 of 6 shots.
B IG BOX
Northwest: This was an ugly loss for the Wildcats, who appeared to be hitting above their weight. They also lost 15 to Iowa earlier in the week.
” Michigan got away with it tonight,” Collins said. ” We haven’t really seen that kind of size, physicality and length.”
Michigan: The Wolverines continue. This was an impressive and balanced effort in which five Michigan players reached double figures in scoring. Three Michigan players had at least five assists, and coach Juwan Howard later spoke about his players’ confidence in each other.
” They see it in practice. They see the work the guys do, ” Howard said. “They also know within our culture … we always talk about sharing the game.”
DEFEND ING THE ARC
Michigan allowed 13 3-pointers in its previous game against Maryland, and that was an emphasis point in this game. Northwestern was just 5 of 18 from long range.
” This was an inspiring game to see how we protected the 3-point line,” Howard said. “Our job was to make sure we didn’t lose them. Keep our head spinning. ”
IMPL ICAT IONS OF THE SURVEY
Northwestern is likely to break out of the Top 25 after losses to Iowa and Michigan.
UNT IL NEXT T IME
Northwest: The Wildcats host Illinois Thursday night.
Michigan: The Wolverines host No. 21 Minnesota on Wednesday night, though the Golden Gophers may no longer be ranked after losing to Wisconsin last week.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.