No. 24 Michigan overpowers Northwestern 58-47 despite weak shooting performance

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Michigan struggled shooting the ball in their 58-47 win over Northwestern, making only 42% of their shots for the game.

BILL RAFTERY: Skelly can stretch the zone. They love this ball screen. And Pardon just understands when the timings-- and this kid is so good in the lane.

TIM BRANDO: Oh, is he ever.

BILL RAFTERY: He lives there.

TIM BRANDO: You know, and if he gets out to a good start, look out.

BILL RAFTERY: Skelly's got a little game inside here.

TIM BRANDO: Yeah. Got it through that double-team off the glass, and 1.

BILL RAFTERY: Boy, he stuck with it.

TIM BRANDO: How about that?

BILL RAFTERY: Powered through the double.

TIM BRANDO: So he feels like he's kind of hit on something here.

BILL RAFTERY: Well, we should start a little zone ourselves then.

TIM BRANDO: Yeah. Charles Matthews.

BILL RAFTERY: And the other thing to add to that is Chris-- where they go for lunch or anything, they take the phones.

TIM BRANDO: Yeah.

BILL RAFTERY: Yeah, a lot of coaches do that. This kid's so good in the lane. Didn't come up empty-- McIntosh. Nice look here.

TIM BRANDO: Duncan Robinson.

BILL RAFTERY: What a pass. Simpson-- on time, on the money. They got to get this house going a little bit. This is study time.

Moves his feet defensively, too, the big guy, Teske on a center that does dribble drive a little bit.

TIM BRANDO: Lindsey hit the 3, but now decides to explode to the basket.

BILL RAFTERY: Exact-- Pardon did a great job.

They get back and get set, but they forget about the back line, huh?

TIM BRANDO: That's really the way that Robinson scored on a couple of dunks And a beautiful cut there.

Abdur-Rahkman working on Lindsey. Robinson passed up the shot for Poole.

BILL RAFTERY: He can shoot it. That's two good guys on the wing. You got to cover both.

They Drag the big up, so it opens something on the baseline.

TIM BRANDO: Northwestern has gone stone cold. Michigan with an opportunity to take their first lead. And they do.

BILL RAFTERY: There you go.

TIM BRANDO: Abdur-Rahkman gets it.

BILL RAFTERY: Nice ball movement on the perimeter to cause the quick timeout. It's a puzzle to play against the matchup, but--

And see, that's that mismatch, and they can't give it to him.

TIM BRANDO: Yeah. I mean, he's got McIntosh on him, and he can get free-- Wagner. There's an answer.

BILL RAFTERY: He can shoot it.

TIM BRANDO: Yes, he can. From the corner, Livers gets it done.

BILL RAFTERY: Now, you've got to go inside. You've got them outnumbered. Well, a little bit of a settle.

TIM BRANDO: Yup. Offensive rebound and a recycle. Out to Livers.

BILL RAFTERY: Nice pass.

TIM BRANDO: Right back to the guy that gave it to him. And now, on the wing.

BILL RAFTERY: Poole.

TIM BRANDO: Hello, how do you do? Nicely done by Poole.

BILL RAFTERY: All started with Rahkman being alert.

TIM BRANDO: Simpson finds a little crease in the zone. That was a tough pass. Brought in, and here's Wagner from downtown.

BILL RAFTERY: How about that? They got it going a little bit now.

TIM BRANDO: Yup. Beginning to make those shots that weren't falling early. That's the first bucket for Wagner.

That was the second foul on Wagner.

BILL RAFTERY: He's OK here.

TIM BRANDO: Yes, he is. Yes, he is.

BILL RAFTERY: Nice little setup on the timeout.

Always looking around in that zone. Try to find the next logical cutter. And here again, they've got the overload. And they got what they want.

TIM BRANDO: Yes they did.

BILL RAFTERY: That's just beautiful. Beautiful. Simpson.

TIM BRANDO: Beautiful find, and Matthews slammed it home.

This will bring Michigan to 18 to 6 overall, 7 and 4 in the Big Ten. And drop Northwestern to 13 and 10 and 4 and 6 in conference play. Fun being with you again, Bill. Always is.

BILL RAFTERY: Enjoyed it, Timmy.

ANNOUNCER 2: You got it. 58 to 47, our score. For Bill and our entire crew, Tim Brando.

- This is going to be a habit with both of us. The zone you were worried about.

- Yeah.

- It took a while.

- Yeah, we hadn't seen it in really two months. So we had to get our playbook back out and get our guys used to it. Thank god it was a two-day prep. Because in the first 10 minutes, it didn't look like we knew anything that was going on. But it shocks you, and the ball is sticking early. Guys weren't running good routes, and then we missed a lot of shots. I mean, I think Duncan was 0 for 7, right? I still left him in there. I know the next one's going in.

- He is a great shooter, no qu-- but a lot of guys stepped up, I thought.

- Yeah.

- Are you were saver as a coach? Like you didn't run some things in the first half.

- Yeah. Oh yeah, abso-- in that first half, you know, especially with the shot clock, Bill, you can't control your offense. They're down the other way. So we have a first-half playlist that we're going to run. And then second will be some counters to them here and there. So the second half was much better for us. But I don't know it was coaching there. I would think the kids just felt more in tune with what they had to do to attack it.

- Well, were you a little concerned after the Purdue game? You played well and lost. Coming home, would it have had some impact?

- No. You know you're only as good as your last game. And if you lost that last game, you don't have a bit of confidence sometimes. And that was a big thing in the talk today. We are a talented team. We have all we need to win this game right in this room. We just got to go out and go after it. And I think defensively, Bill, that was one of our best games.

- Well, you always talk about February getting ready. You seem to be pretty good at this time of year.

- I hope so. I hope so. We've been very fortunate the last couple of years to play well in February. We're going to have to do it again. You know, we got a lot of work to do if we're gonna make that NCAA Tournament again. And I got guys on this team that are in with both feet. So hopefully, we can get it done.

- Well, congratulations.

- Thank you.

- Enjoy the win.

- Thank you very much.

- OK.