Northwestern (12-3, 1-2 Big Ten) struggled from the field out of the gates, connecting on only five of its first 16 field goal attempts. The cold start helped Michigan lead by as many as 17 points in the first half, surging ahead 31-14 with just over four minutes remaining.But Crawford took things into his own hands to get NU back in the game. The freshman single-handedly went on an 11-0 run, hitting a trio of 3-pointers along the way. The surge helped Northwestern creep back within six points, forcing Michigan to burn a timeout with 2:27 left in the half.
The hosts would eventually take a 37-28 lead into the intermission as Michigan shot 50 percent from the field to 34.5 percent for the Wildcats.Northwestern came out the aggressors to start the second half as a lay-in by Jeremy Nash and back-to-back buckets by Crawford got the Wildcats to within 37-34, prompting Michigan to burn an early timeout.
However, Michigan wouldn't go away. The Wolverines chipped away at the deficit and eventually would reclaim the lead at 62-61 with 1:28 remaining following triples by Stu Douglass and Darius Morris.It was all Northwestern the rest of the way, though. Michael Thompson, who scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half, drove the lane and found a slashing Crawford who was fouled and make two from the line to give NU the lead back.
The Wildcats got a stop on the other end and Crawford converted twice more from the charity stripe to put NU ahead 65-62. Northwestern got another stop and Michigan was forced to foul Jeremy Nash who went to the line to shoot the bonus.Nash was unable to convert, but NU forced a turnover and Nash was sent to the line again with 23.7 seconds to go and he hit a pair to seal the win.
Crawford's 25 points came on just nine field goal attempts as he made seven of them, incuding four of five from beyond the arch while hitting seven of eight free throw attempts.Mirkovic contributed 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Manny Harris led Michigan with 24 points.
Northwestern returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday as it hosts Wisconsin at Welsh-Ryan Arena.