U-M Escapes Rutgers with Milestone Win for Beilein

Feb. 22, 2017

What You Need to Know
» Michigan led by as many as 10 points with 15 minutes left and then trailed by four with 6:46 remaining, but U-M used a 10-0 run late in the game to regain the lead for good.
» Michigan had four players in double-figures: Zak Irvin (16), Muhammad-Ali-Abdur-Rahkman (14), Derrick Walton Jr. (13) and D.J. Wilson (10). Wilson added 11 rebounds for a double-double.
» Both teams shot 41 percent from the field, but the difference was Michigan hit 10 three-pointers while Rutgers hit six.
» With the win, U-M head coach John Beilein earned his 500th victory in Division I play, including 207 with the Wolverines.

Box Score

Site: Piscataway, N.J. (Rutgers Athletic Center)
Score: Michigan 68, Rutgers 64
Records: U-M (18-10, 8-7 B1G), RU (13-16, 2-14 B1G)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Feb. 25 -- vs. Purdue (Crisler Center), 4:05 p.m. [ TV: BTN ]

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team hung on for a four-point win at Rutgers, 68-64, on Wednesday evening (Feb. 22) inside the Rutgers Athletic Center to move to 8-7 in Big Ten play.

The victory gave U-M head coach John Beilein his 500th win as a Division I head coach, 207 of which have come with the Wolverines. Beilein is just three wins away from the program's all-time mark (Johnny Orr, 209).

Four players finished in double figures, led by 16 points from Zak Irvin, including 13 first-half points. Irvin also added six rebounds and three assist. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman recorded 14 points and five rebounds, while Derrick Walton Jr. had 13 points, five rebounds and five assists. D.J. Wilson posted his fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Irvin started the game hot, hitting the first attempt of the game from beyond the arc. Wilson followed with a short turnaround jumper and a three-pointer to give U-M an early 8-4 lead. The Wolverines then went on a 10-3 run that included two triples from Abdur-Rahkman, putting the Maize and Blue up by nine, 18-9, with 12:40 to go in the opening half.

At the 7:50 mark, Wilson threw down a dunk on an assist from Xavier Simpson to help Michigan maintain a 24-17 lead. The Scarlet Knights then scored five points in less than 30 seconds to pull within two, 24-22, with 6:24 on the clock. Irvin responded with back-to-back three-pointers to push Michigan's lead back to eight points.

U-M's final five points of the half came from the free throw line to give the Wolverines a 35-28 lead at the halftime break. Nine of Michigan's 12 field goals were assisted in the first 20 minutes, with five of those dimes coming from Walton.

Early in the second half, Walton's first field goal of the night came from behind the arc, and then Abdur-Rahkman added a three-point play to give Michigan its first double-digit lead of the game, 43-33, with 16:05 left to play. Then, with U-M up five with 14 minutes on the clock, Abdur-Rahkman sprinted the length of the court to tip in a missed three from Duncan Robinson in transition and make it 48-41 Wolverines.

Rutgers then outscored Michigan 15-4 over a span of five minutes to take its first lead since the opening minutes of the first half, 56-52, with 6:46 remaining in the game. The Maize and Blue came right back with a 10-0 run that started and ended with buckets from Moritz Wagner, and U-M regained the edge, 62-56, at the 3:48 mark.

The Scarlet Knights pulled within two points at 1:25 and 0:16, and they got off the potential game-tying three with two seconds left, but it was off the mark. Free throws once again secured the win for the Wolverines down the stretch, as their last six points of the game came from the charity stripe.

Michigan outrebounded its opponent for the third time in Big Ten play, pulling down 40 rebounds to Rutgers' 33, including 12 offensive boards, which is its second-best total in conference play.

Tweet of the Game

The Wolverines will play their final regular-season home game when they host Purdue on Saturday (Feb. 25) at 4:05 p.m. on ESPN2. Michigan will honor its seniors -- Walton, Irvin, Andrew Dakich, Mark Donnal and Sean Lonergan -- in a special ceremony prior to the game at 3:40 p.m.

Communications Contact: Tom Wywrot

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