ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Michigan men’s basketball team came within reach of Maryland, but couldn’t cut away enough territory to earn a Big Ten Conference win Saturday at the Crisler Center.
Mortiz Wagner led Michigan with 17 points in a 77-70 loss to the Terrapins. Michigan (11-5, 1-2 Big Ten Conference) cut Maryland’s lead to one early in the second half, and came within three in the final two minutes, but the Terrapins closed the game with a 6-2 run.
Here’s what Beilein said after his team faced Maryland:
On Maryland’s top players, Melo Trimble (13 points) and Justin Jackson (15 points):
“Melo Trimble was Melo Trimble, and he hit a dagger at the shot clock.
“Justin Jackson, we didn’t guard him well and he got some really good looks. The start of the whole second half, up until 6 minutes to go, we were guarding them, we were trading and we were right there. But the last six minutes, they went 7 for 8.”
On where Michigan needs to improve:
“All our guys, we still have a long ways to do. We’re playing talented teams, and we just have to make it through.”
On not making substitutions down the stretch:
“I thought it was our best defensive team on the floor. I called at timeout so we could double-use the timeouts. With eight minutes to go, you have two media (timeouts), I called one, he called one, so you get plenty of rest.
“We had five good defenders on the floor and we’re trying to do our best. …We gave guys rest during the game. You give them rest so they have energy at the end.
“I was concerned about third game in three days. When we didn’t shoot well in the first half, I was concerned, maybe our legs were dead. But we shot the lights out in the second half.
On Maryland’s Jared Nickens, who came off the bench to score 12 points — all 3-pointers:
“He hit runaway threes at the NBA line — not many guys can defend against that.
“You either go through the screen or chase it. We decided to chase it, so we had to make some defensive adjustments after that.”
On if there’s a common factor in Michigan’s slow start:
“We had really good looks. I’m not worried about the first 2-3 minutes, ever. If you look at Maryland’s defense, it’s one of the premier ones in the country. Nickens makes the 3, Muhammad (Ali Abdur-Rahkman) and Derrick (Walton) and Xavier (Simpson) all had the same shot. He made three in a row and we missed four in a row on the same, open shot.
“There’s the game, sometimes.”
On Moritz Wagner continuing to learn the college game:
“As he goes through this, he’s procession not only language differences but speed of the game. We’re not going to play 13 UCLAs. You play UCLA and South Carolina and you get woken up. Then you play guarantee games and you can get away with things. But you can’t get away with things anymore. He’s understanding how to get out of foul trouble.”