Michigan Guts Out Victory at Minnesota in Big Ten Opener
Jon Horford

Jan. 2, 2014

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• Coach Beilein: Press Conference audio | Postgame Radio audio

Site: Minneapolis, Minn. (Williams Arena)
Score: Michigan 63, Minnesota 60
Records: U-M (9-4, 1-0 Big Ten), MINN (11-3, 0-1 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Jan. 5 -- vs. Northwestern (Crisler Center), Noon

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Freshman Zak Irvin (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) hit five three-pointers, and senior/junior Jon Horford (Grand Ledge, Mich./Grand Ledge) had seven points in the last 5:19 of the game as the University of Michigan men's basketball team opened Big Ten Conference play with a 63-60 win at Minnesota Thursday night (Jan. 2) inside Williams Arena.

Irvin was 5-of-8 from three-point range for his 15 points, while Horford added a career-best 14 on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor. Sophomore Nik Stauskas (Mississauga, Ontario/St. Mark's School [Mass.]) also had 14 points, as he was 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Horford had a team-high nine rebounds, while Stauskas dished out seven assists. Sophomore Glenn Robinson III (St. John, Ind./Lake Central) contributed a game-high four blocks.

Nik Stauskas

In a game that featured nine ties and 10 lead changes, Michigan took the lead for good on a pair of Horford layups, the latter at 4:22 to make it 53-49. Minnesota cut the lead to one point (55-54) as late as the 2:28 mark, but Michigan had a Horford dunk and two free throws from freshman Derrick Walton Jr. (Detroit, Mich./Chandler Park Academy) at 1:53 and 1:18, respectively, while the Gophers turned the ball over twice on their possessions. After a Stauskas free throw gave the Wolverines a six-point lead (60-54) with 36 seconds left, Minnesota's Malik Smith hit a three to make it a one-possession game nine seconds later. Michigan then missed two free throws, Andre Hollins missed a layup, and Horford corralled a rebound and was fouled and made one freebie with 12 seconds to go. Smith again cut the Michigan lead to one possession as he made three free throws with 5.6 seconds left. However, Stauskas gave U-M a 63-60 lead with a pair at the charity stripe with 4.5 seconds to go, before DeAndre Mathieu's look as time expired went off the back of the rim.

With the game tied at four in the first three-and-a half minutes, Minnesota went on an 11-3 run in the next 4:11 for its largest lead of the half (15-7 at the 11:46 mark). The Wolverines roared back, taking an 18-15 lead on a Stauskas bucket at 7:39. Michigan had a 23-21 lead on Irvin's second three of the half at 5:45, Minnesota answered with a 7-0 run, and the Maize and Blue tied it at 28 on two Stauskas free throws with 1:14 remaining. The Gophers held the 30-28 lead at the half.

Michigan trailed by six four minutes into the second half but took its first lead in the stanza on fifth-year senior Jordan Morgan's (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit) layup at 11:58. Irvin drilled a pair of threes in a 47-second span as the Wolverines went up 47-45 at the 7:33 mark.

The Maize and Blue went 16-of-22 (72.7 percent) from the free throw line and hit seven three-pointers. U-M also assisted on 16 of its 20 field goals.

Michigan returns to Crisler Center on Sunday (Jan. 5) for a noon tipoff against Northwestern. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423

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