The Minnesota Golden Gophers (20-7, 8-6) came on top in a dog fight against the Michigan Wolverines (17-10, 7-7) beating them 83-78 in overtime at home on Sunday night.
D.J. Wilson and Moritz Wagner both put up seven rebounds while Wilson had 16 points and Wagner had 15. Zak Irvin, Derrick Walton Jr. and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman all put up double-digit point totals.
These teams had a lot at stake in the contest as they both sought to establish themselves as teams ready for the NCAA Tournament next month, and separate themselves from other bubble teams.
It was a close game throughout the first half. After being down 12-7 with 10:24 left in the first half, the Wolverines went on an 8-0 run and took a 15-12 lead. Following the run, the teams continued to exchange leads with no team going up by more than three points in that span. After the back and forth, the Gophers came out of the half winning 29-27.
The game continued to be a dog fight throughout the first several minutes of the second half. The Wolverines hit a high when they went up 47-43 on a Zak Irvin three-point jumper with 11:44 left in the game. However, the Gophers hit a high of their own when they opened up a 62-57 lead with 4:39 left in the contest.
The Gophers still held that lead deep into the second half. With 12 seconds to go, Zak Irvin fouled, giving Minnesota two points. With the two free-throws, Minnesota was up 72-69. On the next possession, the Wolverines marched down the court and D.J. Wilson made a three-point jumper to tie the game 72-72 with two seconds left. The shot sent the game to overtime.
The dog fight raged on in overtime, as the Wolverines went up by three on a three-point shot by Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman to go up 75-74 with 3:18 left. However, the Gophers then went on a 7-3 run and had an 81-78 lead with ten seconds left. After trying to replicate Duncan Robinson’s heroics from minutes earlier, Derrick Walton Jr’s game-tying shot came up just short as Minnesota came up with the rebound to seal the deal.
The Wolverines were tagged with 28 personal fouls to Minnesota’s 17. The maize and blue were also outshot from three-point range and from the free-throw line.
The Wolverines will go back to the hardwood this Wednesday, February 22, when they go to Piscataway, NJ to face the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at 6:30 p.m. EST on the Big Ten Network