Abdur-Rahkman leads Michigan over Texas 59-52
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman averages a fairly modest 10 points a game for Michigan, but Wolverines coach John Beilein said, ”he’s better than his stats would say.”
On Tuesday night, Abdur-Rahkman’s stats were more than sufficient. The senior guard matched a season-best with 17 points to go with 10 rebounds and Michigan beat Texas 59-52.
”I’m not surprised,” Michigan guard Charles Matthews said. ”Just thankful for what he did.
Abdur-Rahkman made a 3-pointer from several feet behind the line with 4:53 remaining to give Michigan (9-3) a 10-point lead. The 30-second shot clock was about to expire when he launched from extra-long range.
”I had to take it,” Abdur-Rahkman said.
Matthews added 12 points, while Moritz Wagner and Duncan Robinson scored 10 apiece for the Wolverines.
Dylan Osetkowski, a 6-foot-9 forward, led Texas (6-3) with 17 points, including 13 in the second half. Kerwin Roach II chipped in 11 points, and Mo Bamba added 10 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for the Longhorns, who shot a season-low 36.5 percent.
Osetkowski prevented Michigan from pulling away by scoring nine points during the first four minutes of the second half, and the Longhorns cut a 12-point halftime deficit to three with 14:11 remaining.
”He was really a load for us to stop,” Beilein said.
Even so, Michigan responded an 11-0 push, making three consecutive 3-pointers in a span of less than two minutes, to take a 14-point lead.
Michigan led 32-20 after a first half in which Texas shot poorly from the field, 30.4 percent, and especially on 3-pointers, missing eight of nine. Matthews scored the last six points for Michigan before the break.
Texas has struggled on offense all season, and this was the first game without injured guard Andrew Jones, their leading scorer.
”We knew we would have to step up on the offensive end with Drew out,” Osetkowski said. ”As a collective unit we gotta be a whole lot better than that. It’s tough to win a game scoring 52.”
Michigan: The Wolverines, after facing North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio State, UCLA and Texas in a span of two weeks, and finishing the stretch 3-2, are heading toward a softer part of their schedule. Their next three games, between Saturday and Dec. 30, are against Detroit Mercy, Alabama A&M and Jacksonville.
Texas: Jones is not only the Longhorns’ leading scorer with more than 15 points a game, he’s their most accurate 3-point shooter. Jones missed his first game since suffering a hairline fracture of the right wrist last week at Virginia Commonwealth. Texas gave no timetable for Jones’ return, but coach Shaka Smart said he hopes to have him back soon after Christmas.
Eric Davis Jr. started in place of Jones and made one free throw, and missed all five of his shots from the field. ”We need more from him. We flat out do,” Smart said. ”But everyone on our team needs to do more during this time while Andrew’s out.”
WAGNER LEAVES GAME
Moritz Wagner, Michigan’s leading scorer and rebounder, was helped off the court with 7:36 remaining in the game. ”Slight ankle sprain,” Beilein said. ”Day to day. We’ll know more tomorrow.”
Michigan faces Detroit Mercy on Saturday at a neutral site, Little Caesar’s Arena, home of the Detroit Pistons.
Texas hosts Louisiana Tech on Saturday.