ANN ARBOR, Mich. - ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Kobe Bufkin scored 20 points, Jett Howard had 16 points and seven assists, and Michigan defeated Northwestern 85-78 on Sunday.
The Wolverines held the lead for the final 10 minutes and finished off the Wildcats in the final minute after seeing their late 10-point lead cut in half.
There were four ties and seven lead changes in the second half before an 8-0 run by the Wolverines gave them a 68-59 lead near the seven-minute mark. The Wildcats cut their deficit to five points at 72-67 on a Matthew Nicholson layup but Bufkin hit a 3-pointer and Tarris Reed followed with a layup for a 10-point Michigan lead with 2:29 to go.
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 15: Kobe Bufkin #2 of the Michigan Wolverines shoots the ball over Brooks Barnhizer #13 of the Northwestern Wildcats during the first half of a college basketball game at Crisler Arena on January 15, 2023 in Ann Arbor, M
Northwestern got within 79-74 on a layup by Boo Buie with 42 seconds left. Another layup by Buie made it 81-76 before a dunk by Bufkin gave Michigan a seven-point lead with 16 seconds to go.
Dug McDaniel added 17 points and five assists and Hunter Dickinson had 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Wolverines (10-7, 4-2 Big Ten).
Buie led Northwestern (12-5, 3-3) with 22 points. Robbie Beran scored 16, Nicholson 13 and Brooks Barnhizer 10. Chase Audige, the Wildcats' leading scorer at 15.8 ppg, had eight points and five steals.
The Wolverines shot 52% from the field and made 10 of 22 3-pointers but were slowed down by 18 turnovers, double their season average. Northwestern shot 42% and made only 6 of 23 3-pointers.
A layup from Joey Baker put Michigan up 20-8 midway through the first half but Northwestern rallied, tying the score at 27 when Chase Audige hit a 3-pointer with 5:39 remaining. Julian Roper's 3-pointer at 1:15 gave the Wildcats a 39-33 lead before Doug McDaniel scored the final four points of the half to get Michigan within 39-37 at the break.
It was Northwestern's first road loss of the season after wins over Georgetown, then-No. 20 Michigan State and then-No. 15 Indiana.
Northwestern plays at Iowa on Wednesday and Michigan will go to Maryland on Thursday.