Minnesota Falls Short to Michigan 74-69
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Gophersports.com -- Zak Irvin had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Michigan overcame uncharacteristically poor shooting to hold off upset-minded Minnesota 74-69 on Wednesday night.
The Wolverines (14-5, 4-2 Big Ten) led by as many as 15 in the first half, but Minnesota closed the gap, and with Michigan shooting well under 40 percent from the field, the Golden Gophers (6-13, 0-7) were able to hang around. The Wolverines led 52-49 before Aubrey Dawkins and Derrick Walton made 3-pointers to give Michigan a more comfortable advantage.
Nate Mason scored 25 points to lead Minnesota.
Michigan shot 9 of 31 from 3-point range, snapping a streak of seven games in which the Wolverines had made at least 10 shots from beyond the arc.
Michigan ended up shooting 36.5 percent from the field, its worst output in over a month. The Wolverines led 37-22 before Minnesota scored the final eight points of the first half, and it was hard for Michigan to shake free in the second.
The Wolverines were without guard Caris LeVert, who missed his fifth straight game with a lower left leg injury. Michigan was coming off a tough three-game stretch against Purdue, Maryland and Iowa. The Wolverines were able to win one of those games, and now the schedule eases up a bit, but this victory over the lowly Gophers wasn't particularly convincing.
Walton scored 22 points, but he was the only Michigan player besides Irvin in double figures.
Minnesota: The Gophers were without F Ahmad Gilbert, who is expected to miss three-to-four weeks after having surgery on a finger on his left hand. ... Although Michigan didn't shoot well, the Gophers ended up at only 42 percent from the field.
The Wolverines have won eight straight against Minnesota.
Minnesota: Hosts Illinois on Saturday night.