Michigan Holds Off Pitt to Clinch a Spot in NIT Tip-Off Final
Tim Hardaway Jr.

Nov. 21, 2012

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• Postgame Audio: Coach Beilein | Players

Site: New York, N.Y. (Madison Square Garden)
Event: NIT Season Tip-Off (Semifinals)
Score: #4 Michigan 67, Pittsburgh 62
Records: U-M (4-0), Pitt (4-1)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Nov. 23 -- vs. Kansas State - NIT Season Tip-Off Final (New York, N.Y.), 4:30 p.m. (TV: ESPN)

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team (No. 4 AP/No. 4 ESPN/USA Today) outscored Pittsburgh, 38-29, in the second half to clinch a 67-62 victory on Wednesday night (Nov. 21) in the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals at Madison Square Garden. This marks the Wolverines' first road win in NIT Season Tip-Off history.

U-M now faces Kansas State in the championship game at 4:30 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 23) at MSG. The game will be live on ESPN.

Junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (Miami, Fla./Palmetto Senior) and freshman guard Glenn Robinson III (St. John, Ind./Lake Central) combined for 22 of Michigan's 38 second-half points. Hardaway finished with 16 points, while Robinson tallied 13 in the win. Sophomore guard Trey Burke (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) scored a team-high 17 points, while freshman guard Nik Stauskas (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada/St. Mark's School [Mass.]) added a career-high 15 points off the bench.

After controlling the open tip, Pitt took an early lead, 7-2, going into the first media timeout. Stauskas entered the game after the break and knocked down his first triple to close the gap to just two. After a charge was drawn by senior/junior forward Jordan Morgan (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit), U-M's next possession tied the game, 7-7, as Burke's backdoor pass to Robinson ended in a layup.

U-M took its first lead, 18-16, following a steal and layup by freshman forward Mitch McGary (Chesterton, Ind./Brewster Academy [N.H.]), however, Pitt came right back down to reclaim the lead, 21-18.

Hardaway had U-M's answer as his rebound and coast-to-coast drive turned into an and-one as he tied the score at 21-21. Two U-M late turnovers and missed free throw opportunities helped Pitt extend its lead to six, 33-27, with less than a minute remaining in the opening half. Following a Pitt turnover, Burke knocked down a 15-foot jumper as time expired, and U-M trailed at the half for the first time this season, 33-29.

Five quick U-M fouls helped Pitt maintain a three-point advantage heading into the first media timeout. After a 16-footer from Stauskas, U-M trailed by just one before holding Pitt scoreless for four-and-a-half minutes. After a Panthers bucket ended the dry spell, U-M scored on its next possession, on an inside bucket from Robinson, to cut Pitt's lead back to one.

Two more U-M fouls aided in Pitt building a five-point lead, but a Robinson triple cut it back to two with 11 minutes remaining. U-M switched to a 1-3-1 zone, and Pitt turned the ball over and followed with a second turnover following two Robinson missed free throws.

Hardaway knotted the game at 44-44 after cutting to the basket and having his layup rattle in. A pair of Hardaway free throws then gave U-M a 46-44 lead with eight minutes remaining, and a 14-foot jumper from Robinson put U-M up four, 48-44, forcing Pitt to call a timeout with seven minutes remaining.

After the timeout, a Panther triple cut U-M's lead to one, but a Hardaway three-pointer pushed the lead back to four. A put-back by Robinson then stretched the lead to six, but an and-one by Pitt cut the lead in half, 53-50, with four minutes left.

A steal by Robinson and subsequent lay-in from Hardaway followed by a pair of free throws from Stauskas extended the U-M lead to nine with 1:30 remaining. Pitt's and-one sliced U-M's lead to six and, after a Burke missed triple was followed with a triple from Pitt, U-M was up three with just 30.6 seconds left.

Pitt's James Robinson scored on three straight coast-to-coast baskets, and U-M was fouled on each inbounds pass.
However, the Wolverines were flawless from the free throw line (10-for-10) over the final minute and a half to hold on to the victory.

Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423

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