Michigan Suffers Two-Point Defeat to No. 1 Arizona
The University of Michigan men's basketball team (RV AP, No. 25 ESPN/USA Today) led more than 32 minutes of the game but fell to Arizona (No. 1 AP, No. 1 ESPN/USA Today), 72-70, on Saturday afternoon (Dec. 14) inside Crisler Center.
Sophomores Glenn Robinson III (St. John, Ind./Lake Central) and Caris LeVert (Pickerington, Ohio/Central) led Michigan with 20 and 15 points, respectively. Sophomore Nik Stauskas (Mississauga, Ontario/St. Mark's School [Mass.]) chipped in 14 points and a team-high six rebounds, while sophomore Spike Albrecht (Crown Point, Ind./Northfield Mount Hermon Prep [Mass.]) totaled 10 points and led the team with four assists.
With 2:32 left in the contest, a three-point play by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson put the Wildcats ahead 63-62 and gave them their first lead since a Gabe York three put them up 7-5 only 4:55 into the game. A little more than a minute later, Stauskas put U-M back up 66-65 with a driving layup for Michigan's final lead of the day.
Arizona's Nick Johnson connected on both free throws following a U-M foul with 24.6 seconds left to put the Wildcats up 67-66, then after Stauskas missed a jumper, a jump ball gave Arizona possession with 9.5 ticks left. The road squad made four straight foul shots, but an Albrecht three cut it to 71-70 with two seconds remaining. York was fouled and sent to the line, making his first free throw and missing the second, but Michigan was out of timeouts and was forced to heave a shot from half court that missed.
Michigan scored seven straight points in the last two minutes before the break to hold a nine-point lead. Robinson scored five of his 16 first-half points in those two minutes, including a three just before the buzzer that put the Wolverines up 37-28 going into the intermission. He shot a perfect 7-for-7 in the first frame, including 2-for-2 from behind the arc.
The first half saw the Wolverines shoot 14-for-27 (52 percent), while the Wildcats went 11-for-32 (34 percent) from the floor.
The second half opened with sophomore Mitch McGary (Chesterton, Ind./Brewster Academy [N.H.]) driving to the hoop and throwing down an emphatic dunk, and the Wolverines forced an Arizona shot-clock violation two minutes later.
After Arizona cut U-M's lead to 47-46, the Wolverines came right back. LeVert made a driving layup and then threw a perfect alley-oop pass to Robinson, who threw down a monster slam to make the lead 51-46 with 11:22 remaining in the game.
The Wildcats had four players score in double figures in points -- Brandon Ashley (18), Johnson (14), Tarczewski (14) and Aaron Gordon (14). Tarczewski also had nine rebounds, as Arizona outrebounded Michigan, 37-24, and grabbed 17 offensive rebounds compared to the Wolverines' six. UA also out-assisted U-M, 14-9.
The Wildcats finished the contest shooting 27-for-61 (44 percent), while Michigan was 24-for-48 (50 percent). Arizona also shot 14-of-15 from the free throw line, which proved to be the decider in the game.
The Maize and Blue's next opponent is Stanford, and the two teams will face off in the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational next Saturday night (Dec. 21). The game is scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. tipoff and will be available on Fox Sports 1.