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November 21, 2012Michigan probably won't win many games when it shoots as poorly as it did from three-point range in Wednesday night's game with Pitt. The Wolverines overcame the 3-for-17 showing, though, by dominating the glass, playing solid defense in the second half and making their free throws down the stretch in a 67-62 win over Pitt in the Preseason NIT.
U-M went 18-for-22 from the free throw line and made its last 12 from the stripe to close out a Pitt team that took the fight to the Wolverines early. The Panthers led by as many as eight in the first half before two free throws by freshman Nik Stauskas (15 points) and a jumper at the buzzer by sophomore point guard Trey Burke (17 points, five assists) cut the deficit to four at the half.
Burke struggled to a 5-for-16 shooting performance and missed all four of his triples, but he made seven of eight free throws down the stretch to help U-M clinch it. Stauskas finished a perfect 6-for-6 from the line, while freshman forward Glenn Robinson III (13 points, five rebounds) also made two big ones down the stretch.
Michigan defended well in the opening minutes of the second half, but couldn't pull even until a rally from five down with 11:39 remaining. Robinson nailed a long triple and junior Tim Hardaway Jr. (16 points, five rebounds) added a drive and finish to tie it at 44. The Wolverines wouldn't trail again after Hardaway's two free throws gave them the lead at 46-44 with 8:24 remaining.
Redshirt junior Jordan Morgan added four points and seven rebounds for Michigan, which will face Kansas State in the championship game Friday at 4:30.