Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman matches season best to lead Michigan Wolverines to basketball win over Texas, 59-52
By MARK ROSNER
AUSTIN, Texas — Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman averages a fairly modest 10 points a game for Michigan, but Wolverines coach John Beilein said, “he’s better than his stats would say.”
On Tuesday night, Abdur-Rahkman’s stats were more than sufficient. The senior guard matched a season-best with 17 points to go with 10 rebounds and Michigan beat Texas 59-52.
“I’m not surprised,” Michigan guard Charles Matthews said. “Just thankful for what he did.
Abdur-Rahkman made a 3-pointer from several feet behind the line with 4:53 remaining to give Michigan (9-3) a 10-point lead. The 30-second shot clock was about to expire when he launched from extra-long range.
“I had to take it,” Abdur-Rahkman said.
Matthews added 12 points, while Moritz Wagner and Duncan Robinson scored 10 apiece for U of M.
Dylan Osetkowski, a 6-foot-9 forward, led Texas (6-3) with 17 points, including 13 in the second half. Kerwin Roach II chipped in 11 points, and Mo Bamba added 10 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for the Longhorns, who shot a season-low 36.5 percent.
Osetkowski prevented Michigan from pulling away by scoring nine points during the first four minutes of the second half, and the Longhorns cut a 12-point halftime deficit to three with 14:11 remaining.
“He was really a load for us to stop,” Beilein said.
Even so, Michigan responded an 11-0 push, making three consecutive 3-pointers in a span of less than two minutes, to take a 14-point lead.
Michigan led 32-20 after a first half in which Texas shot poorly from the field, 30.4 percent, and especially on 3-pointers, missing eight of nine. Matthews scored the last six points for Michigan before the break.
Texas has struggled on offense all season, and this was the first game without injured guard Andrew Jones, their leading scorer.
“We knew we would have to step up on the offensive end with Drew out,” Osetkowski said. “As a collective unit we gotta be a whole lot better than that.”
Michigan: The Wolverines, after facing North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio State, UCLA and Texas in a span of two weeks, and finishing the stretch 3-2, are heading toward a softer part of their schedule. Their next three games, between Saturday and Dec. 30, are against Detroit Mercy, Alabama A&M and Jacksonville.
WAGNER LEAVES GAME
Moritz Wagner, Michigan’s leading scorer and rebounder, was helped off the court with 7:36 remaining in the game. “Slight ankle sprain,” Beilein said. “Day to day. We’ll know more tomorrow.”