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On a day where Michigan struggled to score, the Wolverines turned to redshirt junior guard Charles Matthew to lead the way.
Matthews tied a season-high with 25 points to help Michigan avoid the upset against Western Michigan Saturday. He has the Wolverines best offensive threat all game long versus the Broncos and he made plays late to help Michigan win.
“He stepped up,” sophomore forward Jordan Poole said. “We obviously know what Charles is capable of and he was able to go out there and perform late and down the stretch. He definitely helped us get the (win) today.”
Matthew had carried the load early on in the season as he lead Michigan in scoring in four out of its first five game. Since then, he’s let other plays take over the scoring burden, but against the Broncos, he was exactly what Michigan needed.
Freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis had been Michigan’s leading scorer, but he struggled against the Broncos, shooting two of seven from the field. The Wolverines turned to Matthews to score with Brazdeikis and junior center Jon Teske struggling to score.
Against Western Michigan, Matthews lived at the free throw line, making 11 out of his 16 attempts from the free throw line. He had an attack mentality Saturday.
“For one, it feels good not be in foul trouble so just to be able to go out there and get my rhythm felt good,” Matthews said. “I was just trying to be aggressive and continue to attack within the offense.”
It wasn’t just on offense where Matthews made an impact. Matthews was a key part of Michigan’s defensive effort.
“Charles is a phenomenal defender,” Poole said. “He’s long and athletic. So it’s really hard to score over him. He was able to guard a lot of different positions today.”
In the past three games, Michigan has had three different leading scorers. The Wolverines offense is egalitarian as it doesn’t matter who is the player getting the looks.
“It definitely shows how dynamic we are,” Poole said. “There’s a lot of teams that have specific go to guys that they have to dial them up 24/7. But we have guys that can just get a bucket no matter what situation they’re in….We have so many guys that can do so much offensively that we’re able to space out the floor and anybody can have a big game any night.”
Poole said it doesn’t matter who’s shooting well and they just want that player to keep going an be aggressive. Michigan is 11-0 and the players don’t care who’s getting the credit — they just want to win.
“I might have a lot of shots this game, (Poole) might get most of the shots next game, Iggy might get a majority of the shots the next game,” Matthews said. “Coach B switches his game plan day-in-and-day out. We have an unselfish group of guys, we don’t care about that.”