As expected it was a very tough game up at Minnesota. Michigan stayed focused through an early Minnesota barrage of threes and managed to have the lead at halftime and even be up 5 in the second half. But then the wheels fell off, Michigan went cold and Minnesota warmed up again and put the Wolverines away.
There are a lot of telling stats in the box score. First, Michigan shot 31% to Minnesota’s 51%, you aren’t going to beat teams especially on the road shooting 31%. The way Michigan stayed in the game was out rebounding Minnesota 42-36 including 23 offensive rebounds for 23 more field goal attempts. No one besides Kelvin Grady really had a good day shooting the ball and numbers like Ekpe’s 1-9, Zack’s 2-7 and DeShawn’s 6-19 really stand out.
Down the stretch Michigan started forcing the issue and reverted a bit. When Minnesota packed the lane Michigan stopped running their offense (which had worked so well in the first half) and started jacking up bad three point shots. Manny took it one on five a few times and got pulled for it down the stretch. The same thing happened with Manny against Central and he will learn so I am not really worried about that.
Minnesota is a tough match up at home and I didn’t think getting the win was likely. The optimism had spiraled out of control after three wins. After being brought back down to earth a bit hopefully Michigan can beat a struggling Illinois team at home Saturday.