ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Derrick Walton and Caris LeVert scored 15 points apiece, and Michigan rallied for a 62-57 victory over Minnesota on Saturday.
The Wolverines (10-6, 3-1 Big Ten) trailed 49-40 after Minnesota’s Nate Mason made 3-pointer with 8:56 remaining, but the Golden Gophers (11-6, 0-4) went nearly seven minutes before their next field goal, struggling to convert against Michigan’s 1-3-1 defense.
Walton gave Michigan a 54-52 lead on a 3-pointer with 3:24 remaining, and he made a nice alley-oop pass to Ricky Doyle for a dunk with 26 seconds left to put the Wolverines up 59-55.
Michigan won despite shooting 4 of 18 from 3-point range.
Andre Hollins led Minnesota with 18 points.
Michigan, the defending Big Ten champion, has work to do if it wants to make the NCAA tournament after nonconference losses to the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Eastern Michigan. The Wolverines no longer resemble the stellar offensive team that went to the Final Four two seasons ago and the Elite Eight last year, but they grinded out this win at the defensive end.
Minnesota turned the ball over 17 times and ran out of timeouts with 4:48 remaining. The Gophers shot only 39 percent from the field.
Doyle and Zak Irvin had 12 points each for Michigan. The Wolverines led 57-55 when they took a timeout with less than a minute remaining. Walton then found Doyle with a lob for the dunk that made it a two-possession game.
Carlos Morris scored 16 points for Minnesota, but the Gophers remained winless in conference play.
Michigan trailed 27-25 at halftime after shooting 0 for 8 from 3-point range, and the Wolverines never really found a comfort zone offensively, but their zone — and Minnesota’s carelessness with the ball — turned the game around down the stretch.
Michigan observed a moment of silence before the game to remember Roy Tarpley, who died Friday. Tarpley was a star for the Wolverines during the mid-1980s.
Minnesota: The Gophers went more than four minutes without scoring at the beginning of the game, and they went nearly 13 minutes before their first two-point field goal.
Michigan: The Wolverines outscored Minnesota 22-8 in points off turnovers.
Minnesota: Hosts Iowa on Tuesday night.
Michigan: Plays at No. 22 Ohio State on Tuesday night.
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