EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Eli Brooks scored 18 points, Isaiah Livers added 17 more, and Michigan gave coach Juwan Howard the win in his homecoming-of-sorts, beating Northwestern 79-54 on Wednesday night.
Howard, from Chicago’s South Side, watched as the Wolverines (15-9, 6-7 Big Ten) took control in the first half on the way to an easy win in his first game coaching them in the Chicago area.
Brooks nailed four 3-pointers. Livers made all seven free throws in his second game back after missing nine of 10 with a groin injury and Michigan won for the fourth time in five games.
The Wolverines’ Zavier Simpson and Jon Teske also picked up their 104th career victories to tie a program record shared by Glen Rice (1986-89), J.P. Oosterbann (1986-89), Mark Hughes (1986-89) and Jordan Morgan (2011-14).
Last-place Northwestern (6-17, 1-12) dropped its eighth in a row and lost for the 13th time in 14 games. Jared Jones (12 points) and Miller Kopp (10) were the only players in double figures for the Wildcats, who shot 32 percent and made 5 of 21 3-pointers.
Michigan shook off a slow start to grab a 38-23 halftime lead, with Brooks and Livers each scoring nine and Austin Davis adding seven points down low.
The Wolverines missed their first 11 shots before Brooks nailed a 3, and they started to take control midway through the half. They trailed by seven before Brooks and Franz Wagner connected from beyond the arc to give them their first lead at 16-13. And Michigan simply pulled away from there.
Michigan: Near the bottom of the Big Ten after an impressive non-conference start, the Wolverines hope to make a push down the stretch. They made it look easy against Northwestern once they found their rhythm.
Northwestern: The Wildcats came into the game last in the Big Ten in scoring and among the worst in field-goal percentage. They did nothing to boost those numbers.