The No. 16-ranked University of Michigan men’s basketball team used five double-digit scorers to propel it to an 85-66 victory over No. 19 Northwestern on Sunday night (Jan. 3) in its first contest of the New Year at Crisler Center.
Sophomore Franz Wagner was the difference-maker for the Wolverines (9-0, 4-0 Big Ten), finishing the game with his first double-double of the season (14 points, 10 rebounds). He also had a career-high five blocks and dished out five assists.
Freshman Hunter Dickinson scored 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting and has now scored in double digits in each game this season. Eli Brooks and Chaundee Brown Jr. scored 14 each. Brooks went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, and Brown went 5-for-9 from the field with two triples. Senior Isaiah Livers added 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and one block, while Mike Smith had five points and six assists.
Michigan shot 50 percent (32-for-64) and made a season-high 12 three-pointers against Northwestern (6-3, 3-2 Big Ten), while 30 of U-M’s points came in the paint.
After a slow start, the Wolverines went on a 13-2 run capped off with three-pointers from Smith and Brooks to take a 15-10 lead over the Wildcats with 13:04 to play in the first half.
The triples kept coming for Michigan as five players hit one over the first 10 minutes before Brown hit his second of the game to put U-M up by 10 points, 26-10, with just over eight minutes to play in the first half.
The Wolverines continued to be clutch from beyond the arc as they closed out the half on three straight three-pointers, two of which came from Brooks, to take a 43-29 lead into the halftime break.
Wagner came up big for the Maize and Blue in the first half, scoring 10 points, grabbing seven rebounds, blocking three shots and adding one steal. Brown added 10 points and Brooks made three three-pointers.
Dickinson came out of the halftime break to score a quick 11 points for the Wolverines before Livers grabbed a defensive board and dropped a three-pointer on the opposite end of the floor to force a Northwestern timeout with Michigan leading, 63-40, and 13:18 on the game clock.
Michigan maintained its lead and went up by 28 points, 81-53, on back-to-back Dickinson dunks with 4:10 remaining in the contest. The Wolverines added four more points, including Jace Howard scoring his first career bucket to close out the victory.