If the rebounding effort of the Michigan men’s basketball team on Wednesday night could be described in one word, it’d be offensive. But in a good way.

The Wolverines pounded the offensive glass throughout the second half and overtime, which helped them to 13 second-chance points in their 66-64 victory over Northwestern. In fact, Michigan had just two fewer offensive rebounds than defensive rebounds on the game.

Twelve second-half offensive rebounds and four more in overtime were instrumental in keeping Michigan’s possessions alive and overcoming an eight-point deficit.

“It helped give us extra possessions out there on the court, and we really needed those because we really weren’t crashing the offensive glass in the first half,” said sophomore forward Tim Hardaway Jr. “So just getting those extra opportunities on offense and getting key plays down the stretch really helped us with the victory.”

Michigan’s 10-0 second-half run, which erased the deficit and gave Michigan a brief lead, was sparked by an offensive rebound. Senior guard Zack Novak followed his miss on a 3-pointer, which gave the Wolverines’ possession new life and culminated in an easy layup from Hardaway Jr.

And with the Wildcats clinging to a four-point lead with less than five minutes remaining, Michigan scrapped for three offensive rebounds on the same possession. Eventually, sophomore forward Evan Smotrycz buried a jumper to end a stretch of eight-straight Wolverine misses.

In overtime, with the game tied at 58, freshman point guard Trey Burke rebounded his own miss, then rebounded senior guard Stu Douglass’s miss and buried a leaner to give Michigan a lead it would not relinquish.

“Trey Burke,” said Michigan coach John Beilein. “I don’t want him ever getting offensive rebounds because I always want him rotating back. I’m glad he got that one. Because that was a big point in the game.”

In the final minute of the game with Michigan up a point, Hardaway Jr. missed a 3-pointer, but the Wolverines recovered it and Burke knocked down two free throws to give Michigan its final margin of victory.

BURKE WORKS OVERTIME: It was a tale of two halves for Burke. But both halves were disappointing, so he used overtime to get the happy ending.

The Columbus native went 4-for-15 in regulation and contributed to the Wolverines’ dismal first half.

But in overtime, Burke put the last 40 minutes behind him and carried Michigan to its fourth Big Ten victory. He scored eight of the Wolverines’ 12 points in the extra frame and was unfazed at the line, knocking down all six of his free-throw attempts.

In the final minute, Northwestern sent Burke to the line twice. Both times, the Wolverines were up by a point and needed two makes to ensure that the Wildcats could do no better than tie.

With the crowd of 12,605 quieting to a hush on each attempt, Burke stayed cool and found nylon each time.

“Thank God we have him,” Hardaway Jr. said. “That’s what I’m saying. Trey Burke is just growing as the season goes on, blossoming into a great player and a nationally ranked player. Him knocking down these big free throws just gives him more confidence going down the stretch of the season.”

DEFENSE? SHUR-NUFF: Northwestern took the conference’s top scorer into Wednesday’s contest, and for the first 30 minutes, he looked like it.

Forward John Shurna picked apart the Michigan defense and helped the Wildcats to a 44-36 lead with 14 minutes remaining. He had scored 17 points at that point, but only scored four the rest of the way —and none in the final 9:24 of play.

But bad shooting wasn’t the culprit. Novak denied Shurna the ball and hardly gave him any chances to make a play.

“I think our whole team just picked it up defensively,” Novak said. “We really made an effort not to let him and (forward Drew) Crawford beat us. Those are the two guys, we know where they’re going. If you can stop them, you’ve got a pretty good chance.”

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