Basketball: Michigan Defeats Maryland 69-62

The Michigan Men’s Basketball team visited College Park Maryland with some goals and challenges yesterday and came away satisfied, with a 69-62 victory over Maryland. Some of the challenges were a tough Maryland team who had not lost at home this year, and a Wolverine team that has not beaten a ranked team on the road this year. Also, throw in the fact that junior redshirt forward Charles Matthews was not dressed and finally Maryland was celebrating its 100th year of basketball.

Both teams started out the gate slow compared to Michigan’s last game with Maryland were the Wolverines jumped on the Terps early and did not let up. Maryland led 6-0 with two three-point baskets however Ignas Brazedeikis was ready for a huge day of point scoring and causing the Maryland team early foul problems. Before the first TV time out Brazedeikis had drawn 4 fouls on four Maryland players,  Jalen Smith, Bruno Fernando, Darryl Morsell, and Aaron Wiggins. Also if this was not enough he found time to take on the sellout Maryland crowd with power pumps with his arms and blowing kisses to the crowd when hitting early three’s. At one point in the game, the PA of Maryland had to quiet the student section down for terming Iggy as Ugly.

First, half stats were low as both teams were not giving up easy shots even though many second rebounds by both teams gave each opportunity. Zavier Simpson and Jon Teske were the Wolverine’s main scoring threat with Simpson shooting his now famous hook shoot twice over NBA prospect Fernando. Teske’s defense against Fernando was commended as he kept the Maryland big man working for everything and only giving up dunks on breaks. Freshman center Colin Castleton also played Fernando very tough in giving Teske a break in the action and Michigan breathing room in the game.

Coming into the second half with Michigan leading by 4 points Zavier Simpson’s day turned south in the first 90 seconds of the second half picking up two fouls and sending the junior point guard to the bench for 7 plus minutes. Eli Brooks and David DeJulius held their own however they could not control the Maryland offense led by Jalen Smith and the Terps were able to take the lead over Michigan.

Simpson reentered the game and with his stellar defense, leadership and scoring touch the Wolverines were able to regain the lead and keep it for the victory. Baskets from Teske, Simpson, Isiah Livers, and Brazedeikis at key points kept the Wolverines ahead by 5-7 points when Maryland had short runs. Brazedeikis led all scorers with 21 and Teske and Simpson each had double-doubles for the game and with Matthews day to day, the current lineup will need all the scoring it can.

With the victory, Michigan remains in the hunt for the Big Ten regular season Championship but will need to have Purdue lose one game and the Wolverines need to beat Michigan State in East Lansing Saturday. This game also gives Coach John Beilein the most wins in a conference season at Michigan with a 15-4 record and a 26-4 season record and sets up a first-round bye in the conference tournament.