Michigan notched its first home win against a top-five team since 2008 on Tuesday night, knocking off No. 3 Maryland 70-67 behind great performances from Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton Jr..
Irvin had 22 points while Walton added 12 points, 10 rebounds and four assists and Michigan now has its first really impressive win of the season. Michigan is 13-4 but had no wins against top-50 teams before Tuesday night and lost by 17 to Purdue last Thursday.
To have this kind of win without Caris LeVert makes Michigan’s performance even more impressive and the loss even more inexplicable for the Terps. LeVert, the Wolverines’ leading scorer (17.6 points per game), rebounder (5.4) and assist leader (5.2), has missed two games after suffering a lower leg injury against Illinois on Dec. 30.
Maryland’s efforts to slow this short-handed Michigan squad weren’t helped by an off night from its star guard Melo Trimble.
Trimble scored in the first minute of the game and never again, going 1-for-7 from the field with three rebounds and three assists to pair with his two points. It’s a new career-low for Trimble and only the third time this season he’s gone an entire game without a free throw attempt.
Trimble wasn’t the only thing off for Maryland on Tuesday. It took a while befor Diamond Stone (22 points, 11 rebounds) really got rolling inside; same for Rasheed Sulaimon, who did not score a point in the first half. It’s a road loss that stings, but the result says much more about Michigan. If the Wolverines can beat Maryland without LeVert, it might be able to make a run here in Big Ten play and change its postseason fortunes.