Michigan knocks off No. 3 Maryland without LeVert

(AP Photo/Tony Ding)
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Michigan hit enough perimeter shots and held on when Maryland made a second-half push as the Wolverines upset the No. 3 Terrapins, 70-67, on Tuesday night. With a chance to tie the game with under 10 seconds left, Maryland senior Rasheed Sulaimon missed a contested, game-tying 3-pointer.

Playing without senior Caris LeVert, Michigan (13-4, 3-1) played an inspired home game with Zak Irvin going for 22 points and Duncan Robinson spacing the floor in the front court with 17 points and five 3-pointers. The Wolverines also did a tremendous job of slowing down Melo Trimble, as the All-American candidate only finished with two points on 1-for-7 shooting. Trimble had three assists and four turnovers. Derrick Walton can take some credit on the defensive end as he also went for 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Maryland (15-2, 4-1) stayed in the game thanks to a big second half from freshman center Diamond Stone, who finished with 22 points. Jake Layman also played one of his better games of the season, going for 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting while Sulaimon got hot late and tallied eight points. Robert Carter added 15 points.

The Wolverines were able to space the floor and fire 3-pointers when Maryland went to a bigger lineup and they finished 12-for-29 (41 percent) from deep with Robinson getting a lot of good looks. Defending the 3-pointer was also key for Michigan as the Terps struggled to 6-for-24 shooting from there, including Trimble going 0-for-3.

For Michigan to earn this win without LeVert is huge for their NCAA tournament possibilities because it gives them a strong Big Ten win over a potential top-5 team. This game showed Maryland how important Melo Trimble is for their success as he was slow out of the gate and never got going in the second half. It’s important that others like Stone and Layman stepped up, but Trimble is the guy who steps up and makes plays at the end of games and can get shots for others.