March 1, 2014
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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Score: #16 Michigan 66, Minnesota 56
Records: U-M (21-7, 13-3 Big Ten), Minnesota (18-12, 7-10 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Tuesday, Mar. 4 -- at Illinois (Champaign, Ill.), 7 p.m. (TV: ESPN)
Postgame Feature: Spike Albrecht a Model of Michigan's Tenacity
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Nik Stauskas (Mississauga, Ontario/St. Mark's School [Mass.]) scored 21 points and shot 5-of-8 from beyond the arc, helping the University of Michigan men's basketball team (No. 16 AP, No. 16 ESPN/USA Today) defeat Minnesota by a score of 66-56 on Saturday night (March 1) inside Crisler Center. The victory clinches a share of the Big Ten title with two games remaining in the regular season.
Sophomore Caris LeVert (Pickerington, Ohio/Central) contributed 13 points and five assists, while his classmate Glenn Robinson III (St. John, Ind./Lake Central) chipped in 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting for the Wolverines, who ended the game on a 12-4 run.
After trailing early, the Wolverines gained a 16-15 advantage with 8:16 left before halftime via a 7-0 run. Minutes later, Stauskas hit a three in transition following a Robinson block to put U-M up 21-16. Then LeVert drained a triple from the corner to make the score 24-18 and force Minnesota to call timeout with 2:37 to go in the half.
The Maize and Blue closed out the first half scoring seven straight points to hold a 31-20 lead going into the break. Robinson skied to throw down a monstrous dunk off an alley-oop pass from Stauskas, who then nailed a three from the corner with 44 seconds left. Finally, Robinson laid in another alley-oop pass from Stauskas with 19 ticks left.
Stauskas had 11 points and three assists at halftime for Michigan, which shot 13-of-26 (50 percent) from the floor and 5-of-15 (33 percent) from three. The Gophers were 9-of-24 (38 percent) on field goals in the first half and made only one of their seven three-point attempts (14 percent).
Minnesota cut the deficit to 33-26 at 17:07 in the second half, before Michigan went back up by 11 after Stauskas connected from downtown to make the score 41-30 with 14:00 left in the game. Minnesota responded with a 7-0 run and made the score 41-37, forcing the Wolverines to call timeout at 11:49. After the stoppage, Stauskas knocked down another triple to put U-M back up by seven.
Following a mini run that got Minnesota within three, Spike Albrecht (Crown Point, Ind./Northfield Mount Hermon Prep [Mass.]) and LeVert converted a layup and jumper to gain U-M a seven-point cushion again.
The Gophers got to within two twice for the remainder of the game. Robinson quenched the initial push with an alley-oop dunk in transition and a putback in the paint that made the score 52-46 and forced Minnesota to use a timeout at 5:59.
Minnesota again came within two points of the lead, but U-M answered with seven straight points to go up 61-52 with 2:40 remaining. Albrecht's triple with 1:13 left was the final dagger for the title-clinching triumph.
The Wolverines finished the night shooting 25-of-50 (50 percent), including 9-of-23 (39 percent) from long distance. Minnesota was 22-of-48 (46 percent) on field goal attempts, and 5-of-18 (28 percent) from beyond the arc. Austin Hollins led the Gophers with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, and graduate student Jordan Morgan (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit) led all rebounders with 10 boards on the night.
The Maize and Blue travel to Champaign this Tuesday (March 4) to play Illinois. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be televised on ESPN.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423