Michigan’s second-half woes continued Saturday as visiting Rutgers rallied from a 15-point deficit behind Derek Simpson’s 19 points for a 69-59 win in their Big Ten game in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Rutgers (11-10, 3-7 Big Ten) snapped a three-game losing streak.
Meanwhile, Michigan (7-15, 2-9) has lost five in a row. The Wolverines have owned the halftime lead in 15 of their 22 games this season, but continue to have defensive problems after halftime.
Michigan led by as much as 47-32 with 17:03 left in the second half, but Rutgers scrapped into the lead at 58-57 with 4:40 remaining on a three-point play by Simpson.
The Scarlet Knights went on a 14-0 run over four minutes as Michigan went 1-for-8 from the floor during the span, and Rutgers increased its lead to 67-59 on a layup by Jamichael Davis.
Rutgers had fought its way back into the game with 10 minutes remaining by hitting 7 of 9 shots from the floor in a six-minute span. Simpson brought the Scarlet Knights back to within 57-54 with 6:57 left with a 3-pointer from the top of the arc.
Mawot Mag and Clifford Omoruyi scored 15 points apiece for the Scarlet Knights, who also got 10 from Jeremiah Williams.
Olivier Nkamhoua led Michigan with 14 points, while Tarris Reed Jr. scored 12 and point guard Dug McDaniel had 10.
Michigan went into halftime with a 39-30 lead as Reed scored eight tough points inside and the Wolverines hit 6 of 13 3-point shots. The Wolverines would connect on just one 3-pointer in the second half.
Rutgers had cut the lead to 35-30 with 47 seconds left in the half but Michigan closed the half with a flourish. Terrance Williams II connected on a jumper and then after a turnover fed Nkamhoua for a two-handed dunk at the halftime buzzer.
Mag scored 11 points in 15 first-half minutes for the Scarlet Knights.
The win was Rutgers’ first-ever in Ann Arbor. Michigan leads the series between the schools 15-3.
–Field Level Media
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