Michigan sophomore Aubrey Dawkins provided a spark off the bench for the Wolverines in a 68-57 win over Rutgers Wednesday night.

Michigan sophomore Aubrey Dawkins provided a spark off the bench for the Wolverines in a 68-57 win over Rutgers Wednesday night.

Michigan began Wednesday's 68-57 win over Rutgers with a turnover, followed by four consecutive missed field goals.

Nearly midway through the first half, the Wolverines were flat, actually trailing a Scarlet Knight's team winless in Big Ten Conference play.

Down just 11-10 with 11:48 to go, sophomore wing Aubrey Dawkins checked in, turning the game on it's head, proving a much needed boost for his team.

"That's my goal, to play with energy every game," Dawkins said afterward. "That's what my coaches want me to do so that's what I try and do and it helped the team today."

Following a layup for Duncan Robinson, Dawkins went to work. 

Dawkins scored the next eight points for Michigan, including a pair of threes with a two-handed dunk mixed in between.

"I was open, that's all it comes down to," Dawkins said. "My team is all about taking the open shot so I took it, glad it went in."

Settling into a scoring role off the bench hasn't been the easiest transition for Dawkins this season. 

Of late in Big Ten play, Dawkins production is on the uptick, something junior Zak Irvin can relate to, playing a similar role his freshman season.

"He had a huge spark for us," Irvin said. "He had the two threes and he got the dunk for us to really get us going. 

"They started off up 8-0, 10-0 and we had to get back on track. Once he got in the game he was a huge spark plug."

Dawkins finished the night with 11-points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field in 19 minutes.

His only blemish? Receiving a pass at the top of the key, Dawkins skied a little too soon, looking for contact -- but it never came. 

Unable to adjust after a Rutgers defender got out of the way, Dawkins tried to throw the ball in the hoop for what would've been a top play, but the ball clanked off the rim and out of bounds.

"That would've been nice to get that but he just has to understand you've got to be good before you're great, and that's with everybody," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "You can't skip steps. I think he understands that and that could've been a pivotal point in the game as well. 

"He knows that. We had the same thing with Glenn Robinson, had a lot of my bads, and Mitch McGary, go up and dunk it with two, it'll still make the highlight reel but get it with two hands."


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