Michigan 62, Minnesota 51
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Dion Harris scored 15 points while Ekpe Udoh and Lester Abram each added 14 as Michigan defeated Minnesota 62-51 on Saturday to send the Gophers to their seventh-straight loss.
The Wolverines (19-10, 7-7 Big Ten) overcame a career performance by Gophers sophomore Jamal Abu-Shamala, who went 8-for-13 from the floor, including 5-for-8 from 3-point range, for 27 points. Abu-Shamala had 18 points by halftime, one shy of his previous career-high set Jan. 31 at Northwestern.
But aside from Abu-Shamala, Minnesota (9-20, 3-12) was miserable on offense in its final home game of the season and trailed by as many as 15 points in the second half. Michigan held Minnesota’s two best players, Lawrence McKenzie (averaging 16 points per game) and Spencer Tollackson (12.1 points), to zero and five points, respectively.
Jerret Smith and Harris rotated on McKenzie, who was held scoreless for the first time this season. Michigan also blocked 10 shots—Udoh had four and Brent Petway three—and outscored Minnesota 30-12 in the paint.
The Wolverines, who won only their second Big Ten road game, are 3-6 since starting the season 11-1.
Abu-Shamala, who earned a scholarship after earning a spot on the team as a walk-on his freshman year, opened the game hitting his first five shots and scored Minnesota’s first 13 points. But aside from Abu-Shamala’s 18 first-half points off six field goals, Minnesota sputtered on offense. The Gophers went 10-for-24 from the floor in the half.
Michigan didn’t fare much better, hitting 10 of 25 shots, but the Wolverines had 16 points off Minnesota’s nine turnovers at led 33-30 at halftime.
Abu-Shamala’s three at the 16:21 mark of the second half pulled the Gophers to 41-39. But Harris answered with a three of his own, and Smith followed two Minnesota free throws with a three-point play to spark a 19-6 Wolverines run. The Gophers never came closer than eight the rest of the way.