Rapid reaction: Michigan 67, Northwestern 55

February, 21, 2012
2/21/12
11:22
PM ET
There were a lot of things Michigan coach John Beilein likely didn't like during the No. 13 Wolverines' 67-55 overtime win over Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., on Tuesday night.

His team, which had driven the ball well and with precision over the past few weeks, settled too often for 3-pointers. Foul trouble came up again, with both Jordan Morgan and Evan Smotrycz sitting for most of the first half with two fouls.

And Tim Hardaway Jr. struggled from the foul line, going 4-of-10.

But this late in the season, in a game Northwestern badly needed to win to make its first-ever NCAA tournament, the Wolverines will take any win they can get on the road.

Trey Burke is making a case for Big Ten Freshman of the Year

No one not named Anthony Davis is winning the National Freshman of the Year award, but Burke has an absolute case for Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors, pushing hard against the frontrunner, Indiana forward Cody Zeller. Burke followed up two big layups to help Michigan beat Ohio State on Saturday night with six points and two assists in overtime for Michigan. He had a hand in every basket the Wolverines scored from the field in overtime, finishing with 19 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. He has been most critical in Michigan's success this season.

Outside shooting won it late

The Wolverines shot 38 3-pointers on Tuesday night -- the most they've taken in a game since Dec. 22, 2008, when Michigan took 42 3-pointers against Florida Gulf Coast. This game had a bit more at stake than that one. The Wolverines weren't great from the 3-point line, making 14. That was a season high, and the most for Michigan since hitting 14 against Iowa last season in an 87-73 win on Jan. 30, On this night the Wolverines made those shots when it mattered. Michigan made 3 of 5 3-pointers in overtime, including three straight to take a tie game and give the Wolverines a nine-point lead, 58-49. Senior guard Stuart Douglass made 4 of 7 3-pointers and junior guard Matt Vogrich made 3 of 6 3-pointers, helping to carry the Wolverines.

Tip-ins

Michigan won its fourth Big Ten game in a row, the first time it has won four in a row since 2005-06, when the Wolverines won five straight games. ... As poor as Michigan's 3-point shooting was, Northwestern's was worse. The Wildcats made just 3-of-16, part of the reason they lost the game. ... Michigan kept pace with Ohio State and Michigan State in the Big Ten championship race. The Wolverines and Buckeyes sit a half-game back of the Spartans. Michigan State plays at Minnesota at 8:30 Wednesday night.

Michael Rothstein | email

ESPN Detroit Lions reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

Kirk Herbstreit's Gameplan Breakdown
Kirk Herbstreit looks at the five big rivalry games of the week that not only give state bragging rights but also have direct implications on the College Football Playoff.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

BIG TEN SCOREBOARD

Friday, 11/28
Saturday, 11/29