By Jay Cohen, AP Sports Writer
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Ignas Brazdeikis scored 13 of his 23 points in the second half and Jordan Poole made two big plays in the last 2 1/2 minutes to help No. 5 Michigan hold off Northwestern for a 62-60 victory Tuesday night.
Poole finished with 15 points as the Wolverines (9-0, 2-0 Big Ten) added to their best start since they opened the 2012-13 season with 16 straight victories. Zavier Simpson scored 10 points, and Jon Teske had eight points and 10 rebounds.
The game was tied at 58 when Poole fed Teske for a dunk with 2:30 left. After Ryan Taylor made a jumper for Northwestern, Poole drove inside for another dunk that made it 62-60 with 1:53 left.
Michigan had a shot-clock violation with 14 seconds to go, giving Northwestern one last chance. Taylor was long on a desperation 3-pointer as time expired.
Dererk Pardon led the Wildcats (6-3, 0-2) with 20 points on 9-for-10 shooting. Vic Law shook off a slow start and finished with 19.
It was a second straight tough defeat for Northwestern, including a 68-66 loss at Indiana on Saturday.
Michigan appeared to be in control after opening the second half with a 9-0 run to make it 45-30 with 17:19 left. But Northwestern came roaring back.
Pardon’s driving layup sparked a 15-2 spurt for the Wildcats. A.J. Turner’s three-point play sliced Michigan’s lead to 47-45 with 13:16 remaining, sending a charge through the crowd at Welsh-Ryan Arena and prompting the Wolverines to take a timeout.
Brazdeikis helped Michigan settle down, converting a layup to make it 51-45 with 11:30 left. The freshman, who exited for a brief moment in the first half due to a back issue, went 9 for 18 from the field.
Michigan: The Wolverines had some defensive issues in the second half but helped themselves with a 33-26 rebounding advantage for the game.
Northwestern: Law sparked the Wildcats in the second half, scoring 11 points.
Michigan stays home for the next month, beginning Saturday against South Carolina. The Wolverines’ next road game is Jan. 10 at Illinois.
Northwestern hosts DePaul on Saturday and doesn’t play another Big Ten game until Jan. 2 at Michigan State.
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