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January 5, 2014

INSTANT RECAP: Michigan 74, Northwestern 51

Michigan started slowly in a 74-51 win over Northwestern, with the exception of freshman point guard Derrick Walton Jr. Walton started the scoring with a coast to coast finish, found a crease and finished and then set up Jon Horford with a drive and dump off that resulted in a free throw in the first five minutes, accounting for all of Michigan's points through the first 7:26.

Box Score

It took a Glenn Robinson III steal and coast-to-coast finish to finally give the Wolverines their first lead since 4-2, 9-7 at the 12:15 mark. U-M remained flat on offense, however, missing a number of open looks before sophomore Nik Stauskas hit a two from 15 feet off the glass, then took a behind the back pass from Spike Albrecht in transition for a two-handed jam to make it 13-10 at the 10-minute mark.

Still, U-M's offense remained stagnant and the Wolverines couldn't pull away. Horford failed to finish inside and had a jumper go in and out. Morgan replaced him, took a pass from Stauskas off the drive and finished. Robinson III finally gave U-M a five-point lead after a scramble resulted in a lay-up, making it 17-12 at 7:25. Morgan followed with a half hook on the pick and roll to make it 19-12, providing solid minutes.

Northwestern was shooting only 5-for-14 at that point, 1-for-7 from three-point range, before Drew Crawford responded with a triple to cut it to four at the six-minute mark. Caris LeVert countered with his own triple on a pass from Albrecht with the clock winding down.

Morgan continued to play well, running the floor for two more to give U-M its biggest lead, 24-15 at 4:44.

The Wildcats made enough shots to keep it close. A triple from Kale Abrahamson cut it to 30-24 with 15 seconds remaining in the half before Stauskas closed the half with a free throw.

Morgan led Michigan with eight first half points, adding five rebounds. Stauskas notched seven, Walton six, LeVert five and Robinson III four. The Wolverines shot 11-for-22 from the floor but only 1-for-8 from three-point range, and managed only six assists against six turnovers.

SECOND HALF

Stauskas opened up the second half with a triple at 18:40 to give the Wolverines their biggest lead, 10 points. Robinson followed with a jumper to make it 36-24, and it seemed like they were off and running.

They couldn't pull away, however. They missed three of their first five shots before Walton Jr. made only 1-of-2 free throws on a drive, and it stood 37-29 at 15:45.

Michigan worked inside after the Wildcats cut it to six, getting two each at the rim from Irvin and Robinson III and four free throws from Stauskas to push the lead back to 10, 45-35 at 11:48. A steal from Irvin and an alley-oop to Robinson III made it 49-35 at the 10-minute mark. The Wolverines were outstanding on the glass to limit Northwestern to one shot on each trip. The Wildcats only managed four through the first 31 minutes.

Nortwestern went zone at 7:45, but sophomore point guard Spike Albrecht came busted it with a great look underneath to Horford. He then hit a triple when left alone to make it 58-39 - game all but over at 6:30, and especially when Irvin tripled from the corner to make it 64-41 at the last TV timeout.

Stauskas led the scoring with 18 points, adding four rebound and four assists. Robinson III added 12, Walton 11, Morgan eight points and eight rebounds, Horford seven points and eight rebounds and LeVert seven points.


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