The faces were different, but Michigan’s goal was to play like Michigan on Wednesday night. That was the message from Phil Martelli throughout a tumultuous week, and it was the message that helped his group to a necessary home victory over Rutgers.
The Wolverines didn’t have their full roster, but they had enough talent to beat the Scarlet Knights at home. They played lineups that haven’t been featured much all year, got contributions from freshmen who have struggled to contribute, and played their best defensive game since before Christmas.
Caleb Houstan was the standout with a career-high 21 points, and five made 3-pointers, but timely contributions from players like Kobe Bufkin and Frankie Collins were what finally allowed the Wolverines to pull away for a comfortable 71-62 win over surging Rutgers.