Only one perfect record was going to survive.
Rutgers entered Wednesday night’s matchup with Michigan in Piscataway hoping to extend its 17-0 record at home and secure the program’s first win ever against the Wolverines, but it wasn’t to be.
The crowd at the Rutgers Athletic Center was deafening and the score differential never exceeded nine points, but Michigan prevailed with a 60-52 victory in front of Rutgers’ eighth-straight home sellout crowd.
The Wolverines, who stole a win in the teams’ first meeting at Madison Square Garden earlier this month, are now 13-0 versus the Scarlet Knights.
Michigan, winners of six of its past seven games, pulled out the win despite missing 6-foot-7 forward Isaiah Livers, who was sidelined with a lower-leg injury suffered against Indiana on Sunday.
Geo Baker led the Scarlet Knights with a team-high 16 points, going 7-for-14 from the field with two steals. Akwasi Yeboah chipped in 10 points with five rebounds, while Ron Harper Jr. added 11 points.
Despite a slow start by Michigan, which didn’t score until nearly three minutes into the game, Rutgers only could manage a 4-0 lead. But the Scarlet Knights kept it close throughout the first half as the Wolverines’ largest lead was never more than eight points.
With 48 seconds left in the half, Shaq Carter bodied his way inside for a swift lay-in to tie the score at 28. Baker then cashed in with a long 3 as the buzzer sounded to cap a 5-0 run to end the half that Rutgers a 31-28 lead.
Rutgers went on a 6-0 run to kick off the second half. But Michigan answered with a 10-2 run of its own. A 3-pointer at 9:14 from Michigan’s David Dejulius gave the Wolverines a 45-41 lead, and they never looked back.