Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY

Despite yet another slow start, Michigan fends off Northwestern 72-63

Michigan were able to put away Northwestern 72-63 despite slow start to the first half.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- With some guys this season for Michigan, a slow start would've been the death knell for the rest of the game.

On a blustery Wednesday night, the Wolverines (20-9, 10-6 Big Ten,) somehow managed to avoid a scare from Northwestern and walk away with a 72-63 victory at the Crisler Center.

With the snow storm creeping across the state of Michigan, it forced a lot of late arrivals to the Crisler Center. This was the case with U-M to start the game, with the Wildcats (17-11, 5-10 Big Ten) pouncing quickly on the Wolverines. Northwestern  jumped out a 10-0 lead early in the first half before U-M's 0-8 scoring drought was ended with a layup by U-M forward Zak Irvin.

Despite the first half struggles that carried over for a portion of the second half, U-M was able to claw back into the game thanks to a big night from Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, who finished the night with a team-high 19 points and also playing 36 minutes of solid basketball. Abdur-Rahkman always appeared to be in the right place at the right time, making some big shots and having some athletic finished around the rim.

Outside of Derrick Walton Jr. who finished the night with 16 points, Abdur-Rahkman was one of the few players that had some electricity in his step Wednesday night.

Of course, there's always Aubrey Dawkins. Dawkins is the Wolverines' spark-plug off the bench and tonight was no different as he was playing well off the bench. The Wolverines appeared to hit its stride at the right time towards the end of the game. With an important three-ball to put U-M up by three with just over four minutes left to go in the game, U-M were able to put the Wildcats away once and for all.

Northwestern certainly didn't want to walk away without a fight. The Wolverines had problems with the Wildcats' big man Alex Olah, who finished the game with 19-points,

U-M heads to Wisconsin on Sunday to play the Badgers, 6 p.m. on BTN.


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