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Arizona 72, Michigan 70

The SportsXchange

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Top-ranked Arizona came back from 11 points down early in the second half on Saturday to overtake Michigan and win a critical road test, 72-70.

Nick Johnson hit six free throws in the final 25 seconds to help the Wildcats move to 11-0.

Michigan took its first double-digit lead of the game on the first possession of the second half, but the Wildcats fashioned an 11-4 run to cut the deficit to 41-39 with 15:56 left.

The Wolverines answered with a run of their own and led, 47-41, after a three-point play by Caris Levert, but Arizona quickly cut the lead to a single point.

Michigan's Nik Stauskas stretched the edge to 58-50 with about seven minutes to play, as the Wildcats went over four minutes without a basket.

However, Arizona clawed back into the game and stayed within striking distance.

The Wildcats took their first lead since early in the game when Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored on a fastbreak and completed the three-point play for a 63-62 Arizona lead with 2:32 left.

The teams swapped baskets and the lead, with Stauskas giving Michigan a 66-65 edge with a driving basket with a little under a minute left.

Johnson was fouled with 24.6 seconds to play and nailed both shots for the last of five lead changes in the closing two minutes of the game.

Johnson's two free throws with 9.1 seconds left gave Arizona a 69-66 lead, and after a Michigan free throw, Johnson hit two more with 6.1 to play for a 71-67 cushion.

Spike Albrecht's 3-pointer cut the lead to one with two seconds left, before Gabe York hit one of two free throws for Arizona before time ran out.

Brandon Ashley led Arizona with 18 points, while Johnson, Aaron Gordon and Kaleb Tarczewski had 14 each for the Wildcats.

Michigan (6-4) was led by Glenn Robinson III with 20 points, LeVert added 15 and Stauskas had 14.

A sold-out crowd at the Crisler Center helped power the fast pace that Michigan wanted to maintain against the taller, longer Wildcats.

Fed by Arizona turnovers, and an early spell that had the Wildcats missing nine straight shots, Michigan led, 11-7, about eight minutes into the game.

After a basket inside from the 7-foot Tarczewski ended the drought and stopped a string of seven straight points by Michigan, the Wolverines put together another spurt and led, 18-12, with under 10 minutes left in the first half.

Michigan, one of the nation's youngest teams with four sophomores and a freshman in the starting lineup, built the early lead without the scoring of Stauskas, who came in averaging nearly 19 points per game.

When Stauskas hit a 3-pointer from the corner, and backup point guard Albrecht quickly followed that with a deep 3-pointer from out front to give Michigan had a 28-20 lead with 4:30 left in the half.

The Wildcats score six straight points, flexing their muscle inside. Robinson's 3-pointer triple led a Michigan flurry that had the Wolverines scoring the final seven points of the half for a 37-28 advantage.

Robinson went 7-of-7 from the field in the half, scoring 16 points.
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