Maryland basketball got back to its winning ways on Saturday, picking up a 77-70 victory over Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Maryland overcame a five-minute scoring drought in the beginning of the second half, with Michigan turning a double-digit game into a two-point one. Maryland never let up the lead, though. The Terps are 14-2 (2-1 Big Ten).
Damonte Dodd played 13 minutes against Nebraska in his return from an injury, but was clearly in better condition against Michigan. He had a career-high 15 points to go along with four rebounds in a performance his team desperately needed.
Jared Nickens emerged from his slump to give the Terps a brief boost in the first half. He hit two deep threes to help pace the team before the rest of the scorers got going, and added another two in the second half for a season-high 12.
Michigan kept Melo Trimble quiet for most of the game’s first 30 minutes, but the Terps got contributions from him when they needed them. This was a familiar game for Trimble, who contributed buckets down the stretch to finish with 13 points.
The Wolverines’ backcourt helped keep them in the game, but a balanced attack helped them stay there. They had four players score at least 12 points as Moritz Wagner leading the way with 17. Guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman was a handful for the Terps all night, getting 12 points as he excelled at driving into the lane. Zak Irvin, his backcourt mate, helped key Michigan’s offense with nine second-half points. D.J. Wilson added a sneaky 13 points on only seven shots from the field.
Maryland had a 37-28 halftime lead, but some Michigan buckets and a lack of Maryland makes shrunk it to 43-41. The Terps never could get their lead back to double digits, as Michigan battled them punch-for-punch. When Trimble hit a runner to make it 71-65 with just over a minute left, Wagner nailed a three to keep the Wolverines right in it.
But a Justin Jackson layup stopped any run Michigan was hoping for, and the Terps hit free throws down the stretch to secure the win. Jackson’s layup and late free throws helped him tie Dodd with a team-high 15 points.
Three things to know
- Damonte Dodd looked good in his second game back from injury. He was back in the starting lineup, and he helped extend Maryland’s lead in the first half. Dodd still doesn’t look totally comfortable on his left knee, but he was healthy enough to dominate Michigan’s bigs.
- Jared Nickens found his rhythm. He’s struggled for almost the entire season, but finally looked good shooting from deep. That’s Nickens’ best skill, so if he can keep it up, he can work his way back into a regular role.
- Maryland got back to its winning ways. The Terps looked dominant against Illinois and for stretches against Nebraska before blowing a double-digit lead. Maryland’s conference start now looks pretty solid, but another test against Indiana will help define this team.