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March 28, 2014

INSTANT RECAP: Michigan Elite Again

Glenn Robinson III took advantage of an early mismatch to blow by a defender for a drive and finish. Antonio Barton answered with a triple and Jordan McRae a jumper off the dribble, staring what appeared to be a high scoring affair - and it was for the most part in a 73-71 MIchigan win.

The pace never really slowed until the last 10 minutes. Caris Levert's triple tied it at five with a triple from the corner at 18:00 and Robinson III drove again and was fouled, finishing both free throws.

Stauskas got into the act at 16:15 with a triple up top off a screen, and the Wolverines were rolling offensively, especially when freshman Derrick Walton Jr. banked in a triple from the top to make it 13-7. Even better news for U-M - Tennessee big men Jeronne Maymon and Jarnell Stokes each picked up their first fouls in the initial two minutes.

A steal by LeVert at the top of the 1-3-1 resulted in a loose ball dunk by Stauskas. Only three Michigan turnovers in the early going and some uncharacteristic tough, outside shots kept the Vols relatively close. It was 15-12 when Morgan finished a three-point play, Maymon picking up his second foul on the play.

The good news at the second timeout: the Volunteers had yet to notch an offensive rebound. The bad news: they were 7-for-10 from the floor with a number of tough makes. They came all the way back to take a one-point lead on a three-point play from Darius Thompson at 11:19.

Robinson III answered again with a drive and finish from the top to put U-M back in front, but Jordan McRae answered with yet another solid jumper off the dribble, continuing the back and forth. Freshman Zack Irvin's triple at 10:00 made it 23-21, Wolverines. His second in front of the home crowd, from the same spot, made it 26-21 at 8:40.

Tennessee started to go cold from the floor, and U-M got an opportunity. Derrick Walton Jr. hit three free throws after being fouled behind the arc, making it 29-22 at 6:40. The Vols answered with a triple, though, to remain within shouting distance, but they continued to struggle with U-M's offense. The Wolverines were tough to guard off the dribble and against the high ball screen, and when LeVert hit a pull-up two and Stauskas nailed a three in transition, it was 34-25 at 5:15, forcing a Tennessee timeout.

U-M continued to scorch Tennessee off the dribble while paying solid post defense. The Vols rarely got good looks inside, and Michigan was good enough on the glass to limit the second chance points. Robinson and LeVert drives and finishes made it 38-26 at 3:40. It was 41-28 at 3:10 after another LeVert three.

It ended 45-34, Tennessee's Josh Richardson was the only one keeping the Vols relatively close in scoring 13 in the first half.

LeVert led U-M with 10, Stauskas and Robinson added eight each, Morgan seven and Walton six in an impressive first half. The Wolverines shot 61.5 percent from the floor and 7-for-9 from three-point range. They also outrebounded Tennessee 14-11.


Tennessee started the first half with a Stokes putback, and the pace remained breakneck. The Vols cut it to eight, but U-M pushed it back to 12 on four points from Morgan inside, including a nasty dunk on a nice dish from Stauskas.

Robinson III continued his fine play. He hit a long jumper and followed up with a triple, and Maymon picked up his third foul with 14:25 remaining when Robinson went at him in transition. The Wolverines led 54-41 at that point, and Tennessee started the half only 3-for-10 from the floor, forcing shots.

The tide turned a bit when LeVert missed a wide-open three. Tennessee pulled within 54-44 at 13:15 and went 1-3-1. Spike Albrecht missed an open triple from the top, but Irvin made his from the corner to push it to 57-44. The lead was its biggest, 14 at 11:41, when center Jon Horford made one of two free throws. Albrect made it 60-45 at 10:50 with a finish inside after a Volunteers free throw

U-M started to get sloppy, however, and Tennessee cut it to nine at 8:50 after Morgan missed a lay-up and a bad shot from the top by Stauskas. That forced a Michigan timeout. Stauskas missed another triple, and it was a seven-point game at 7:48 when Tennessee finished inside.

Morgan silenced the run with a righty half hook at 7:20, but it was back to six after four straight from the Vols. Walton Jr. then hit a huge triple at 6:23, to push it back to nine before a drive and finish past Stauskas made it seven again. He got it back with his own drive and finish at 5:05, but it seemed destined to be somewhat tight until the end, the pace having slowed.

Stauskas, though, had other ideas. He hit a critical triple at 3:30 to make it a 10-point game again, but the Vols scored four straight. Morgan finished a dunk, but the lead was only five after a McRae three-point play, and Tennessee got the ball back when Morgan fumbled a pick and roll pass from Walton.

The Vols couldn't convert on the other end, though, and Michigan called time-out with the ball and 57.2 seconds remaining. A shot clock violation was U-M's 11th turnover and gave Tennessee life, but the Vols missed a triple against Michigan's 1-3-1 defense. They got the ball back on another questionable out of bounds call off the Wolverines and scored inside to cut it to three, but still had four fouls to give with 23 seconds remaining.

It was a one-point game with 10.8 seconds remaining after a Michigan turnover and Tennessee finish in transition. The Vols got the ball back when LeVert stepped out of bounds on the following inbounds, but Morgan took a charge with 6.0 seconds remaining. Stauskas hit one of two free throws and the Vols missed a half court shot that would have won it.

Morgan led U-M with 15, Stauskas had 14 and Robinson 13 for the Wolverines.

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