Rams Use Late Surge To Top Wolverines in Overtime

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team was unable to take advantage of a early Colorado State scoring drought and could not hold off the Rams' second-half surge with Chris Young (Plymouth, Mich./Catholic Central HS) on the bench with five fouls as the Wolverines fell 70-66 in overtime Monday (Feb. 11) at Moby Arena.


LaVell Blanchard (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) led all scorers with 19 points, while Bernard Robinson Jr. (Washington D.C./New Hampton Prep [N.H.]) chipped in 11 points and Gavin Groninger (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield HS) added 10, shooting 3-of-6 from the three-point line. Matt Nelson and Brian Greene led the Rams (10-13) with 16 points apiece.

A Michigan turnover early into the overtime session allowed Colorado State to score back-to-back baskets to gain a 64-59 lead and the Rams did not look back. U-M made an attempt to fight back from the deficit by twice cutting the Ram lead to two in the last minute and a half with three-pointers from Leon Jones (Battle Creek, Mich. Winchendon Prep [Conn.]) and Blanchard. However, CSU stayed composed and took advantage of its chances at the free throw line and never allowed the Wolverines to edge any closer.

Michigan (10-12) struggled to put CSU away in the first half as the Rams fell into an offensive slump in the final nine minutes of the period. A pair of free throws each from Robinson and Young helped the Wolverines take a four-point lead, 29-25, into the locker room.

Colorado State got out to the early 8-3 lead with a pair of baskets from Greene. Michigan stormed back with a 7-0 run before a Greene layup tied the game at 12 with 10:34 left in the period.

Over the next few minutes, both the Wolverines and the Rams heated up from behind the arc. Groninger started with a four-point play off his second triple of the game and Dommanic Ingerson (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS) added a pair of his own from outside. However, Andy Birley answered with two more threes to keep Colorado State close. A three-point play from Smith brought the Rams within two, 25-23, with less than three minutes to play in the half.

Following baskets by Jones and Blanchard midway through the second half, the Wolverines took their largest lead of the game at 45-36. However, the Rams took advantage of Young's foul trouble and went on an 11-2 run to tie the game at 47-47.

With less than a minute remaining in regulation the Rams held a 57-54 lead. As the clock wound down, an errant Groninger three was corralled by Ingerson, who dished the ball back outside to Robinson. Robinson's shot was good from three and sent the game into overtime deadlocked at 59 after Bailey's last-second shot was blocked.

The Wolverines return to Big Ten Conference play and conclude a stretch of four games in seven days with a contest at Purdue on Wednesday (Feb. 13, 6 p.m.) in West Lafayette, Ind.

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423

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