Mark Donnal scored 25 big points, but it wasn’t enough for Michigan.
COLLEGE PARK, Maryland — The Wolverines traveled to Maryland on Sunday for a critical contest in regards to the Tournament resume. A win likely would’ve solidified Michigan’s spot in the big dance, but the Wolverines just couldn’t quite get the job done against the sixth ranked Terrapins.
As the game began, Michigan looked to be playing well enough to make this a contest, but then the Terps managed to go on a 16-0 run where Michigan was missing several shots in a row. The offense was lost, the defense just couldn’t quite seem to defend for a full possession and it looked like Michigan was just about done. We’ve seen that happen a couple times before though, haven’t we?
A flurry of three pointers brought the Wolverines to within five points of the Terps as the game went into the half. Both teams came out of the half playing relatively well. Maryland was able to hold on to it’s lead for the vast majority of the second half, but a string of turnovers and a furious comeback by the Wolverines eventually led to Michigan taking the lead with about six minutes left to play.
After this the Wolverines offense seemed to lose it’s fire and the defense simply could not tame the beast that is Robert Carter. Carter was able to have his way down low and on the boards basically the entire night, but came through for his time during clutch time. Michigan however was able to stay in the game, even able to secure one last chance at tying the game and forcing overtime. Senior point guard Derrick Walton Jr started up top and after passing the ball back and forth with Zak Irvin, drove hard towards the basket. Walton seemed to have extended his arm and blatantly look for the hard contact and was called for an offensive foul.
The Walton Jr foul on the offensive end basically ended the game, but Duncan Robinson managed to nail a three with six seconds left. The Wolverines resorted to fouling the Terps upon time starting, but Maryland was able to make all it’s free throws when they needed to.
This loss leaves the Wolverines in a very difficult situation. With an impressive win against the Terps, Michigan would’ve needed only one more regular season win to feel excellent about their tourney chances, but it now looks like the Wolverines will need two more wins to finish out the regular season to have a shot at postseason playing time in the big dance.