No. 5 Michigan slips past Minnesota on road
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21 points as No. 5 Michigan bounced back from its first loss of the season by posting a 83-75 win over ninth-ranked Minnesota in a key Big Ten clash from Williams Arena.
Hardaway made good on 7-of-8 field goal attempts -- including a sharp 4-of-5 from 3-point range -- and the Wolverines shot 50 percent (10-of-20) from beyond the arc in rebounding from Sunday's 56-53 loss at No. 11 Ohio State.
Trey Burke added 18 points and nine assists for Michigan (17-1, 4-1 Big Ten), which shot 54.9 percent from the floor as a team.
Minnesota (15-3, 3-2) also went 50 percent (8-of-16) from 3-point distance, but was hurt by 15 turnovers that the Wolverines converted into 24 points to hand the Golden Gophers a second straight defeat following an 11-game win streak.
"We just certainly got outplayed tonight, and I'm disappointed we didn't raise our level of play to level I thought we needed to," said Gophers head coach Tubby Smith. "We've had a real tough time taking care of the ball."
Austin Hollins had a career-high 21 points to pace Minnesota, with Trevor Mbakwe amassing 13 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in a losing cause.
The Gophers converted five of their first seven field goal tries to begin the contest, but also committed five turnovers over the first seven-plus minutes that helped Michigan grab an early 16-13 edge.
Hardaway had an impact as well, with the junior guard pouring in 12 points by the midway mark of the opening half. His 3-pointer with 11:02 to go in the period kick-started a 10-1 run that Burke capped with a triple and a jumper off consecutive Minnesota giveaways, enabling the Wolverines to own a 26-16 advantage with 7:53 left before intermission.
Minnesota countered with eight consecutive points, with Julian Welch knocking down a pair of treys to ignite the flurry, but the Wolverines would create some distance prior to the conclusion of the half and went into the break carrying a 36-30 lead.
Michigan generated 22 of its first-half points off 10 Minnesota miscues, while Hardaway racked up 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting and made four baskets from beyond the perimeter over the initial 20 minutes.
The Wolverines gained some more separation during the second half, ripping off a 9-2 burst early in the frame that culminated with a Burke 3-pointer that put Michigan up 47-34 less than five minutes into the session. A 7-0 run shortly afterward, in which Nik Stauskas put up five points, gave the Wolverines a comfortable 56-37 margin with just over 13 1/2 minutes to play.
"Tim Hardaway was just sensational in the first half, offensively and defensively, and in the second half everybody had their little spot," said Michigan head coach John Beilein. "That's what can make this team very good, when we have that kind of a performance off the bench and have that type of defensive intensity."
Michigan was up 64-47 with slightly under 10 minutes left, before Minnesota closed the gap by virtue of an 8-0 tear highlighted by a pair of threes from Hollins. The Gophers trailed by 10 at the 6 1/2-minute mark, but the Wolverines' Caris LeVert scored the game's next five points for a 74-51 Michigan lead.
Minnesota would only mildly threaten the rest of the way, pulling within seven points on a few occasions during the latter stages but never getting any closer.
Michigan improved to 27-0 in Beilein's six seasons when scoring 80 or more points .... The Wolverines notched their fourth straight win over Minnesota and have now prevailed in eight of the last nine meetings between the schools ... Hollins bettered his prior career high of 20 points, set in a win over American on Nov. 9, while Mbakwe's five blocks tied a personal best set twice previously ... The game marked the first matchup at Williams Arena between two teams ranked in the top 10 since No. 5 Michigan and No. 10 Minnesota squared off on Feb. 7, 1977 ... Smith fell to 3-8 all- time against Michigan.