Michigan accelerates past Central Michigan, 72-65
More Big Ten men’s hoops
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman scored 17 points, helping Michigan escape with a 72-65 win over Central Michigan on Monday night.
Charles Matthews and Zavier Simpson each scored 13, and Moritz Wagner added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Wolverines, who improved to 22-3 all-time against Central Michigan.
Shawn Roundtree had 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range, to lead the Chippewas. Luke Meyer added 12 points.
Michigan, which led 32-31 at halftime, built a 62-53 lead after a Matthews steal and dunk with 4 minutes left. Simpson’s 3-pointer made it 67-58 with 2 minutes left.
Central Michigan was competitive from the opening tip, leading by eight on four different occasions in the first half. After Michigan took a 3-2 lead, the Chippewas went on a 9-0 run, capped by Matt Beachler’s 3-pointer, to take an 11-3 advantage.
Central Michigan, which also led, 22-14, 28-20 and 30-22, shot 11 of 26 in the first half, including 5 of 13 from 3-point range. Meyer and Roundtree each scored nine points in the first half.
The Wolverines finished the half with a 10-1 run, taking a slim lead into the break.
TRANSFERS TAKE OVER
Michigan transfers Jaaron Simmons and Matthews helped spark the Wolverines in the second half. With Central Michigan leading 47-46, Simmons and Matthews nailed consecutive 3-pointers to put the Wolverines ahead 52-47 with 10:30 left.
After a Chippewas basket, Matthews hit a jumper to keep the lead at five. Later, Matthews’ dunk put Michigan up by nine.
Central Michigan: The Chippewas, a member of the Mid-American Conference, appear to be improved from last season, when they lost their final eight games. Despite losing Marcus Keene, last year’s leading scorer in the nation at 30 points per game, Central Michigan showed a well-rounded offensive attack against the Wolverines. Eight different players scored for the Chippewas.
Michigan: The Wolverines have struggled out of the gate in both their games this season, trailing North Florida by seven in the first half of Saturday’s season-opener and falling behind Central Michigan early. Michigan needs to get off to better starts and not rely on second-half rallies. The Wolverines, who are replacing numerous key players from last season, should improve as the season progresses.
Central Michigan: Hosts Eureka at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Michigan: Hosts Southern Mississippi at 7 p.m. Thursday.