Michigan 57, Wofford 40

MILWAUKEE (Detroit Free Press) -- Michigan lived this before.

Just a week ago, the Wolverines were threatened at the Big Ten tournament when sloppy play nearly sent them home early from Indianapolis by a far lesser team.

On Thursday in the NCAA Tournament, the No. 2 seeded Wolverines struggled to put away No. 15 seed Wofford and entered the danger zone, letting the Terriers within seven.

Yet, even after starting the second half 4-of-18 from the field, the offense arrived when necessary in the final 4 ½ minutes, with U-M pulling away for the 57-40 win at the Bradley Center.

As they have learned, however the tournament win comes, the season continues as they'll play Saturday.

Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton Jr., neither who influenced U-M's 2013 NCAA title-game run, were the clutch performers with critical three-pointers with around four minutes to play.

The U-M stars had their moments, as Nik Stauskas (15 points) and Glenn Robinson III (14) were both in double figures, but the biggest contribution came from center Jordan Morgan, who had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, saving U-M from disaster.

An 18-point lead shrunk to seven at one point and Michigan (26-8) was just trying to hang on.

The Wolverines started missing everything. Good looks at the rim, wide open three-pointers, clear drives.

Michigan hit just 3-of-15 shots in the first 12 minutes of the half, allowing the Terriers a chance. Wofford cut the deficit to seven with nine minutes remaining until Jordan Morgan's three-point play slowed the slide.

After Michigan pushed the lead out to 18 four minutes into the second half, Wofford scored eight straight points to cut the margin down to 10 with 12 ½ minutes to play.

It had been awhile since Michigan faced a low-major team so it took some time to remember its dominance.

Wofford hit its first two shots, then missed 10 straight, but the Wolverines could not pull away, leading only 9-6 eight minutes into the game.

After that timeout, Nik Stauskas decided it was time to play. He hit a guarded three off a curl and sparked an 11-2 run as the Wolverines pulled away.

The most impressive Michigan player in the first half, which ended with a 34-30 U-M lead, was Glenn Robinson III, who scored 11 points from all over the court.

The only reason Michigan didn't put the game away by the break, especially with Wofford shooting just 32% from the field and 0-8 from three-point range, were Wolverines' uncharacteristic eight turnovers.

Contact Mark Snyder: msnyder@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @mark__snyder.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment