Men’s Basketball: Matthews’ Career Day Propels U-M Past Alabama A&M

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan men’s basketball team used a career night from junior Charles Matthews to dominate Alabama A&M wire-to-wire in a decisive 97-47 win on Thursday evening (Dec. 21). Michigan remains perfect at home at 7-0.

The 50-point victory is U-M’s largest of the season. Michigan is 25-0 under head coach John Beilein when scoring 90 or more points.

Matthews recorded a career-high 31 points in the win, marking his sixth 20-point performance of the season. He is the first Wolverine since Aubrey Dawkins (March 2015) to score 30 points in a game.

Also scoring in double-digits in the win were seniors Duncan Robinson (18) and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman(14). Robinson recorded a game-high five triples and shot 75 percent from the field (6-for-8).

The Wolverines and Bulldogs exchanged baskets to begin the first half, giving U-M a 10-6 lead at the first media timeout. Matthews put up Michigan’s first seven points with a jumper and a pair of free throws, capped by an and-one play at the 16:07 mark. Abdur-Rahkman added a triple before the media timeout to give U-M a four-point lead.

Michigan broke away from AAMU at 11:41 with sophomore Jon Teske‘s three-point play, putting the Wolverines up, 21-13, and propelling them on a 22-4 run over 6:53. Throughout the run, 12 of Michigan’s points came from deep, led by three triples from Robinson.

Michigan shot a season-high 71 percent from the field in the first half (17-for-24). The Wolverines also assisted on 82 percent of made field goals (14-of-17) in the first 20 minutes.

Michigan continued its three-point barrage to begin the second half, as Abdur-Rahkman opened with back-to-back triples, both assisted by Matthews, to give U-M a quick 57-25 lead at the 18:55 mark. Matthews and Robinson added to the early run with a dunk and triple, respectively, to put Michigan up, 62-25, at 18:05. Teske added a jumper with 17:23 to go to force an AAMU timeout.

After Robinson recorded his fifth triple of the game, a season-high, at the 11:22 mark to put the Wolverines up, 71-34, Michigan went on a 12-2 run. Over the run, Matthews added his third dunk of the night before freshman Isaiah Livers and sophomore Ibi Watson sunk back-to-back threes. Livers added a quick jumper at 6:29 to cap the run and grow U-M’s lead to 84-36.

The final five minutes of the game were highlighted by four points from sophomore Austin Davis and first career points from freshmen C.J. Baird and Naji Ozeir. Baird and Ozeir scored on back-to-back plays at the end of the second half to send U-M to the 97-47 win.

Overall, 16 players saw game action in the win. Michigan shot 61 percent from the field (36-for-60), while holding AAMU to 35 percent (17-for-49). The Wolverines also forced a season-high 25 turnovers.

Next up, the Wolverines will wrap up non-conference play when they play host to Jacksonville for their final game of 2017 on Saturday (Dec. 30). The game will be broadcast live on BTN at 6 p.m


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