The big man from Berlin dominated for the Wolverines, as the Ramblers' season comes to an end.
SAN ANTONIO — Moe Wagner scored a game-high 24 points, including eight in the game's final five minutes, and Michigan pulled away late to top Loyola-Chicago during the Final Four on Saturday in San Antonio.
Loyola-Chicago led 29-22 at the half and stretched its lead to as much as as 10 during the early minutes of the second half, but Wagner and the Wolverines fought back.
After trailing 41-31 with 14:10 remaining in the game, Michigan began chipping away. Three-pointers from Jaaron Simmons, Duncan Robinson and Wagner helped lead a charge to tie the game 47-47, and Michigan took over from there.
"I think this team, we understand that it's a game of runs," said Charles Matthews, who finished the game with 17 points. "And we're not going to get rattled. We've been down before. I think the first game of the tournament we started down like down by 10-0 lead, and we just stayed the course. We weren't going to be rattled by them pressuring us and we missed some shots."
The Wolverines went on a 14-4 run during the next four minutes and never looked back.
Wagner led Michigan in scoring, rebounds (15) and steals (3) in the win. He is one of only three players to have at least 20 points and 15 rebounds in a national semifinal game. The other two? Hakeem Olajuwon and Larry Bird.
"Wow. If you put it like that, that's it's probably cool," Wagner said. "But to be honest, I kept looking possession by possession, we had trouble scoring the first half. We scored 22 points and that was kind of the only way we found our way to the basket, grab offensive rebounds and get second-shot opportunities."
Michigan started hot, hitting a pair of early 3-pointers and ran out to a 12-4 lead, but Loyola-Chicago roared back, and took a 17-15 lead on a pair of Cameron Krutwig free throws with just under six minutes remaining in the half.
The Ramblers lived in the paint early in the game, taking only three 3-pointers in the first half. Loyola-Chicago was 9-of-10 from the line in the first half and shot 41.7 percent from the field.
Michigan, meanwhile, struggled after its hot start. The Wolverines shot only 29 percent in the opening half, and Wagner and Matthews accounted for 19 of the team's 22 points.
The rest of Michigan woke up in the second half as Duncan Robinson scored 9 points, Jordan Poole added 8 and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman chipped in 7.
Cameron Krutwig led the way for Loyola-Chicago with 17 point. Clayton Custer had 15, and Aundre Jackson added 10.