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January 17, 2013Michigan fell behind 6-2 at Minnesota after freshman Nik Stauskas opened the scoring with a drive and finish, but Gophers foul trouble and some hot shooting helped the Wolverines take off in the first half on the way to a huge, 83-75 win at Williams Arena.
U-M led 36-30 at the break thanks to a 16-3 run that started after point guard Andre Hollins left with two fouls, expanding the lead to as many as 10 points. Tim Hardaway Jr. was on fire for the Wolverines, scoring 17 points and making all but one shot (and 4-of-5 from three-point range) in the first half. Freshman big man Mitch McGary also gave Michigan a spark off the bench, scoring six points, four in transition (two on a steal and dunk) after redshirt junior Jordan Morgan struggled to finish and allowed some Gophers offensive rebounds on the other end.
Only four Wolverines scored in the first half. Sophomore Trey Burke scored 10 points on 2-of-3 free throw shooting, while Stauskas added a free throw for three points. Michigan shot 54.5 percent from three-point range (6-for-11), but Minnesota stayed close behind hot shooting of its own. The Gophers went 5-for-7 from long range, four of them late in the shot clock, and also corralled six offensive rebounds to create more possessions.
Michigan came out strong, opening with four Morgan points inside (two on a pick and roll), getting an alley-oop from Burke to Hardaway and a triple from Burke to open the lead. It ballooned to 13 on a dunk from Glenn Robinson III with 15 minutes remaining.
That's when the fun started. Stauskas was fouled on a backdoor dunk attempt and hit two free throws. He followed up with a triple in transition to make it 54-37, and Robinson III notched a steal seconds later, capping it with a 360-degree dunk to expand the lead to 19 points at 13:36.
Stauskas missed a triple but followed a Minnesota two with a drive and two-hand slam with authority.
The Wolverines scored 26 points in the first nine minutes of the half in an offensive explosion. Morgan continued his solid work with a tip-in of a Burke miss and a lay-up on an in-bound play and freshman Spike Albrecht finished a stop and go move off the high glass to keep U-M comfortably ahead by 17 with under 12 minutes to play.
The Gophers, though, wouldn't go quietly. Austin Hollins started a three-point barrage that made things uncomfortable for the next few minutes by hitting two, his second a bomb that cut it to 64-55 with 8:10 remaining. A Robinson triple, however, pushed the lead back to 13 at the 7:00 mark - freshman Caris LeVert hit one of his own to keep it there at 6:00, following up with two free throws, and U-M needed only hold on to escape with a key road win.
At one point, the Wolverines had scored 24 points off 14 Gophers turnovers.
Minnesota, though, continued to chip away. U-M missed three free throws over the next four minutes, allowing the Gophers to cut it to seven (77-70). The Wolverines made enough down the stretch to put it away, however, improving to 4-1 in the conference.
Hardaway led Michigan scorers with 21 points and added six rebounds. Burke finished with 18 points and nine assists, Stauskas 11 points, Morgan and Robinson nine each and McGary eight.