Minnesota Falls to Michigan, 63-60
January 02, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Elliott Eliasonrecorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota in 63-60 loss to Michigan. Jon Horford scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds to help Michigan withstand another loss of one of its star players.
Zak Irvin scored 15 points on five 3-pointers for the Wolverines (9-4, 1-0 Big Ten), who lost Glenn Robinson III to an apparent right leg injury early in the second half. Michigan is already down Mitch McGary, who is out indefinitely with a back injury.
Andre Hollinshad 12 points and five boards for Minnesota (11-3, 0-1). The Golden Gophers grabbed 15 offensive rebounds, but they missed six free throws.
With Robinson out, Horford's toughness inside lifted the Wolverines in a tense final five minutes. His dunk in traffic with 1:54 to play that gave Michigan a 57-54 lead.
Malik Smithhit a 3-pointer with 27.3 seconds to play that cut the deficit to 60-57 and his three free throws made it 61-60 Michigan with 5.6 seconds to play. But Nik Stauskas hit a pair of free throws and Dre Mathieu's 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the rim.
Stauskas had 14 points and seven assists and Horford made six of his eight shots for Michigan.
The Wolverines are coming off a Final Four appearance, and Robinson and McGary both came back looking for more. But McGary announced that he would have back surgery just before the new year, leaving a big hole in the paint that only got bigger in the second half.
Robinson rose up and emphatically swatted a layup attempt from Mathieu, but appeared to come down awkwardly on his right leg. He hobbled around for two more possessions, but had to leave the game and walk gingerly to the locker room for further examination.
Without the super-athletic Robinson prowling the paint, Eliason went to work.
He scored the first six points of the second half for Minnesota and created second chance after second chance with some dogged offensive rebounding. His layup gave Minnesota a 36-30 lead four minutes into the second half, but Michigan charged back.
Walton, Jr. hit a 3-pointer and a couple of free throws, Irvin hit another 3 and Jordan Morgan swished a hook shot to put the Wolverines up 40-39.
That set up a thrilling back-and-forth final 12 minutes.
The Gophers led 45-44 on a 3-pointer by Smith, but Horford had a jumper and a putback to give Michigan a 53-49 lead with 4:15 to go.
The Gophers were never able to wrestle the lead back.