MINNESOTA (WWJ/AP) – U-M Wolverines get the win over the Golden Gophers 70-63 Saturday in Minnesota.
Tim Hardaway Jr. hit five 3-pointers in the game’s first 12 minutes and finished with 22 points to help young Michigan win another Big Ten road game.
Darius Morris added 17 points and seven assists, deftly getting to the basket with some hard-nosed drives in the second half to lead the Wolverines (18-12, 8-9) and keep their NCAA tournament bid in tact.
They’re 4-5 on the road in the conference this season.
Stu Douglass scored 12 points and Zack Novak contributed a key 3-pointer and a late steal in the closing minutes for Michigan to pull out a free-flowing game that featured only 17 combined free-throw attempts – and 44 heaves from 3-point range. The Wolverines went 12 for 28 after starting 6 for 7.
Blake Hoffarber had 18 points and six assists, and Trevor Mbakwe scored 18 points with nine rebounds for the Gophers (17-11, 6-10), who have tumbled out of NCAA tournament contention without senior point guard Al Nolen, who is out with a broken foot.
Both teams were fresh from, arguably, their most bitter losses this season, making this critical game toward the NCAA tournament push a telling sign of their ability to take a hit and snap back.
The Wolverines, beaten on a banked-in 3-pointer at the buzzer by 12th-ranked Wisconsin on Wednesday, had won six of their previous eight games to creep into the middle of the pack in the conference.
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