Men's basketball: Gophers drop Big Ten opener
MINNEAPOLIS — Zak Irvin scored 15 points on 5-for-8 from 3-point range as the Wolverines opened Big Ten play with a tough road win 63-60 Thursday. Jon Horford scored a career-high 14 points to go with a team-best nine rebounds for Michigan (9-4, 1-0 Big Ten), which has won five straight and nine of 10 against the Golden Gophers. Nik Stauskas finished with 14 points and a career-best seven assists.
Andre Hollins and Malik Smith each scored 12 points for Minnesota (11-3, 0-1), which had its six-game winning streak and its stretch of 12 straight home wins snapped. Elliott Eliason added 10 points and 10 rebounds as the Golden Gophers dominated inside but went 5-for-19 from 3-point range.
Michigan led 60-54 with 36.1 seconds left but had a tough time putting it away as Smith’s 3-pointer cut the lead in half and the Wolverines went just 3-for-6 from the foul line down the stretch. Stauskas fouled Smith on a 3-pointer and he hit all three free throws to make it 61-60, but Stauskas redeemed himself by knocking down two foul shots and DeAndre Mathieu’s 3-pointer at the buzzer hit the back of the iron.
The Golden Gophers led by eight early, but Michigan put together an 11-0 run to regain the advantage and it was tight the rest of the way. Minnesota took a 30-28 lead into the break and extended it to 36-30 early in the second half but couldn’t shake the Wolverines.
Notes: Michigan F Glenn Robinson III had averaged 19.3 points over the previous four games but was limited to six points after missing most of the second half with an apparent lower leg injury. ... The Golden Gophers, who entered the game shooting a Big Ten-best 76 percent from the foul line, were 13-of-19 from the stripe. ... The Wolverines have won five straight at Minnesota dating to 2008.