Michigan basketball (17-1, 4-1), fresh off of their first loss of the season, traveled into hostile territory on Thursday night and systematically took apart the #9 ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers (15-3, 3-2). A 17-point first half by Tim Hardaway, Jr. made sure a 1st half like the one played out in Columbus was not to be repeated. Michigan poured it on in the 2nd half and came away with an 83-75 win.
How They Won
In a week where a lot of sports fans were left to wonder what’s real, the Michigan basketball team erased any doubt as to their elite status with a big time road win against the Gophers. Hardaway and Trey Burke made sure Michigan got off on the right foot by scoring 27 of Michigan’s 36 first half points.
The Wolverines parlayed that inspired play into a 36-30 halftime lead. Michigan showed off their extreme athleticism in the 2nd half with a series of high flying dunks and fast break play. The game eventually wore down into a grueling foul-fest as Tubby Smith made sure Michigan was going to earn every second of a win in his gym.
John Beliein’s team showed a lot of poise down the stretch, stood strong at the free throw line, and will leave town with their best win of the season to date.
Hardaway, Trey Burke, and Nik Stauskas all scored in double digits for Michigan. Minnesota had 4 players score at least 11 points, led by Austin Hollins’ 21.
- Tim Hardaway, Jr. – What Hardaway did by scoring 17 first half points on 6-7 shooting was exactly what great leaders do. He made sure his team wasn’t going to fall behind on the road and that quick start carried through until the final whistle. Hardaway took just one shot in the 2nd half, an alley-oop dunk. He ended the game with 21 points on 7-8 shooting (4-5 from three). He added 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. The only black mark to his state line were 6 ugly turnovers.
- Trey Burke – Burke won the highly touted battle of the point guards over Andre Hollins. Burke had 18 points and 9 assists to go along with a board, a steal, and a block. Facing constant pressure in the 2nd half, Burke turned the ball over just once on the night.
- Mitch McGary – Monster turned in another inspired performance with 8 points (4-5 shooting), 2 rebounds (both offensive), 1 assist, 3 steals, and a block. While Jordan Morgan was scuffling to find his way in the 1st half, McGary was able to provide some big time minutes off the bench.
News and Notes
- The Wolverines have now won 4 straight at The Barn.
- The win was Michigan’s first road win against a top 10 team since 1996 when they beat #10 Duke.
- Michigan was out-rebounded 30-20. Minnesota’s Trevor Mbakwe had a game high 10 boards. Hardaway led Michigan with 6.
- The Wolverines won the turnover battle 11-16.
- Michigan shot 28-51 (54.9%) and 10-20 from beyond the arc. The Gophers shot 25-52 (48.1%) and 8-16, respectively.
- 40 fouls were committed in this game and 52 free throws resulted. Michigan was 17-25 from the line while Minnesota went 17-27.
- Michigan had 13 steals on the night.
- Jordan Morgan shook off a scoreless first half to put up 9 2nd half points to go along with 4 boards and a steal.
- Nik Stauskas bounced back from a scoreless day in Columbus to post 11 points, including a prolific 2-handed stuff in the 2nd half. But that dunk was nothing in comparison to the 360 degree beauty put up by Glenn Robinson III. I had a hunch he would break one of those out at some point. GR3 finished with 9 points, 5 boards, and 3 steals.
- Apparently Michigan went to Minnesota with their old school tear-away style NFL jerseys. Both Trey Burke and Jordan Morgan had to switch jerseys during the game. Burke went from wearing his usual #3 to #12 and Morgan from #52 to #30.
Michigan gets a week off before they host Purdue next Thursday night at the Crisler Center. Tip is set for 7 pm and ESPN will carry the game.
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