The Rutgers men’s basketball team fell to Michigan 71-64 last night in Ann Arbor. With the loss, the Scarlet Knights (12-8, 8-8) have lost their one and only matchup against the No. 3 Wolverines (15-1, 10-1) of the season.
The game got off to an encouraging start, as a layup from senior guard Jacob Young gave Rutgers an 11-6 lead with less than 14 minutes left in the first half. As the first half progressed, Michigan began to build up a lead of its own, ultimately taking a 37-28 lead into halftime.
At the half, the Knights were led by junior guard Ron Harper Jr., who scored 10 points in the first half. For the Wolverines, Franz Wagner led the team in scoring with 9 points. As a team, Michigan shot 50 percent in the first half compared to 37.5 percent for Rutgers.
In the second half, the Wolverines were able to maintain a steady lead over the Knights that grew to as much as 17 points with less than 12 minutes to go.
As the game waned, Rutgers made one last push to try and pull off the upset win, cutting the lead to 8 points with 1:47 remaining in the game. Michigan would respond with timely shots and made free throws to seal the win.
In the loss, the Knights were led in scoring by Young, who was 1 of 4 players to enter double-digit scoring for the team. Junior guard Caleb McConnell was the team’s leading rebounder for the night, hauling in seven rebounds.
For the Wolverines, Wagner led the way in scoring with 20 points to go and was second in the team with seven rebounds. Hunter Dickinson led Michigan in what was a decisive rebounding advantage, contributing eight rebounds to a 40-27 rebounding edge for the Wolverines.
Michigan finished the game shooting 46.2 percent from the field while shooting an even 40 percent from the three-point line. Rutgers followed relatively close behind in overall field goal percentage, shooting 40.3 percent, but shot only 25 percent from behind the arc.
With the loss now behind them, the Knights now have four games remaining on the schedule to solidify their place at the NCAA Tournament. In the latest bracket projection, Rutgers is ranked as a six seed in the tournament field, according to the NCAA.
The Knights will be back in action on Sunday to face Maryland at the Rutgers Athletic Center with tip-off scheduled for 3 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.
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