Michigan trails early, pulls away from Rutgers for 58-45 win
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Dug McDaniel scored 16 points and had five steals as Michigan rallied from an early 10-point deficit to earn a 58-45 win over Rutgers on Thursday night.
The win lifts the Wolverines into a three-way tie with Maryland and No. 17 Indiana for third place in the Big Ten Conference with three games left in the regular season. The top four finishers earn a bye into the conference quarterfinals.
Michigan was without Jett Howard, who averages just under 15 points per game, and the Wolverines managed just a McDaniel 3-pointer over the first six minutes while the Scarlet Knights opened a 13-3 lead. Hunter Dickinson hit a jumper and dunked, and Kobe Bufkin knocked down a 3 and scored at the basket to get Michigan within one, 13-12 with 9:13 left. Dickinson hit a jumper to put the Wolverines in front, and Joey Baker hit a 3 with 2:12 left for a 25-21 lead and they held a 26-23 advantage at intermission.
Rutgers got within a possession several times in the second half, but Michigan closed the game on a 10-3 run.
Bufkin finished with 14 points with three steals and three assists for Michigan (16-12, 10-7). Dickinson posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Cam Spencer paced Rutgers (17-11, 9-8) with 11 points and seven rebounds. Clifford Omoruyi had 10 points and 10 boards.
Michigan plays host to Wisconsin on Sunday. Rutgers plays at Penn State Sunday.