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March 20, 2014

INSTANT RECAP: Michigan 57, Wofford 40

Michigan's first NCAA Tournament game of 2014 wasn't pretty. Wofford opened a 4-0 lead over four points from Lee Skinner, bringing the Terriers crowd alive before U-M answered with four to tie it.

That's how it remained at the first TV timeout in a lower scoring than expected game. The Wolverines got a Jordan Morgan drive and dunk from the top and a Glenn Robinson III jumper to open their scoring, but sophomore shooting guard Nik Stauskas picked up his first foul on a charge call - that hasn't been a charge all year - and was sent to the bench early.

Box Score

Michigan made two of its first four shots while Wofford was only two for seven, but the smaller Terriers notched two offensive rebounds to get extra possessions.

They couldn't convert. The Wolverines then ripped off four straight on jumpers from Derrick Walton Jr. (a triple) and Caris LeVert to grab a four-point lead. Wofford was 2-for-10 at that point, though the Terriers remained active on the offensive glass. Robinson III, meanwhile, missed two shorties at the rim after strong moves to get there.

It was 8-6 at the second break when freshman Zak Irvin missed a wide open triple and big man Jon Horford let the rebound bounce off his hands. Wofford was 3-for-13 shooting at that point to U-M's 4-for-9 and had outrebounded U-M 8-6. The Wolverines also had three turnovers at that point, well above their nine per game pace.

Stauskas hit his first triple at the 11:15 mark and the Wolverines opened a 16-8 lead on an Irvin jumper. Morgan's free throw line jumper made it 18-8 at the nine-minute mark - it was 20-8 a minute later on a short baseline jumper from Stauskas, and U-M still held a 10-point edge at the third timeout on the strength of 9-for-14 shooting.

U-M maintained a solid lead, but could never completely pull away. Six turnovers gave the Terriers 21 shots to Michigan's 17 at one point - still, U-M was up 25-14 when Stauskas came off the curl to knock down a jumper for his sixth and seventh points of the game at 4:30.

Robinson gave the Wolverines their biggest lead of the half, 27-14, when he finished inside on a pass from Walton, and he followed with a triple at 2:30 that made it 30-16. He answered a Wofford jumper with yet another two-pointer from the top at 1:45.

U-M took a 34-20 lead at the break on two Stauskas free throws and a stop at the other end.

Robinson led all scorers with 11 points, going 5-of-8 from the floor. Stauskas added nine and Morgan and LeVert each grabbed four rebounds in the first half. Wofford was only 9-for-28 shooting and 0-for-8 from three-point range.

SECOND HALF

LeVert had a chance to put Michigan up 16 quickly in transition, but he didn't take it strong and missed a reverse. Robinson's unforced turnover and missed jumper allowed Wofford to stay close, but the Terriers couldn't score, either, missing their first three shots of the second half.

Stauskas opened the second half scoring at 17:05 with a triple to give U-M its biggest lead. Wofford didn't score until 15:45 on a backdown and finish by Justin Gordon. The Terriers cut it to 14, though, on a jumper in transition following a LeVert airball on an ill-advised shot.

Wofford cut it to 12 when Walton lost his man for an easy cut and finish and the Terriers had the ball at 13:24 with a chance to pull within 10. They did on a second chance bucket from Karl Cochran. At that point they had taken 38 shots to the Wolverines' 28.

Walton found Horton for a dunk to finally stop Wofford's run. That made it 40-28 at the 12-minute mark. Stauskas, though, drove and missed an easy finish, and Wofford cut it to back to 10 on the next possession. Irvin then jacked a bad triple that went out of bounds on the rebound, giving the Terriers the ball back.

Michigan was just 2-for-11 from the floor at that point in the second half and had six points through the first 10.5 minutes.

The Terriers then cut it to seven, capping a 13-2 run after a Robinson III missed shorty, on a Cochran triple, bringing the arena to life. Wisconsin fans joined the party in rooting against Michigan, and Irvin obliged them by missing another triple. Morgan, though, completed a big three-point play on the next trip to push the lead back to 10.

Robinson's next jumper missed badly and gave Wofford the ball back down 10 with 7:57. Only 1-for-15 from long range for the Terriers prevented it from being closer, but they cut it to 43-35 on a Gordon back in and score over LeVert.

A Morgan finish off a loose ball and Robinson III tip at 5:10 finally gave the Wolverines some breathing room, 47-35. LeVert's contested triple from the top at 4:17 made it 50-35, and the Wolverines seemed on their way to finally closing it out. Walton Jr. helped with a three at 3:35 following a Wofford jumper.

Stauskas provided the dagger with a triple from the corner with just over a minute remaining, giving U-M an 18-point margin. The Wolverines ran out the clock with their reserves on the floor.

Stauskas led Michigan with 15 points, Robinson added 14 and Morgan recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Wofford shot only 34 percent for the game and made only one triple in 19 attempts.

Michigan will play the winner of Texas and Arizona State Saturday.


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