Ranked Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team sneaks past Maryland, 68-67
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
ANN ARBOR — Michigan earned a spot in The Associated Press college basketball poll and almost lost it on the same day.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman made two free throws with 1.2 seconds left, lifting the 23rd-ranked Wolverines to a 68-67 win over Maryland on Monday night.
Kevin Huerter connected on a go-ahead 3-pointer on the previous possession for the short-handed Terrapins, who trailed by 10 with five-plus minutes left in the game.
“Prosperity, that’s what the real good teams adjust to and keep winning,” Michigan’s Moritz Wagner said. “Even though it was ugly and we had a tough time, we found a way.”
Wagner had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Wolverines (16-4, 5-2).
“They’re impossible to guard with Wagner,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said.
Michigan was trailing by as much as 14 in the first half and was behind 30-20 at halftime, looking lethargic after an emotionally charged win over then-No. 4 Michigan State two days earlier. The Wolverines opened the second half with a 10-0 run and later took the lead with 13:02 left while making three 3-pointers in 44 seconds.
The Terrapins (14-6, 3-4) took the lead back midway through the second half, but Wagner made a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession. The Wolverines went ahead by 10 with 5:50 to go and yet barely did enough to win against a team with just eight healthy players on scholarship.
“We never stopped playing and we kind of snuck up on them in the end,” Turgeon said.
Maryland’s Anthony Cowan scored 24 points and lamented how his team reacted to Huerter’s late 3.
“Our first mistake was celebrating too much,” Cowan said. “We should’ve just went back to the bench and get our game plan on defense.”
Huerter had 12 on 4 of 11 shooting and Darryl Morsell added 10 points for the Terrapins, who used just three reserves and didn’t play any of them more than 18 minutes.