ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. –Stu Douglass' triple put the Michigan basketball team up 45-44 on No. 10 Syracuse with just minutes remaining in the second Legends Classic semifinal on Friday, but the Wolverines upset bid fell just short as the Orange rallied to a 53-50 win dealing Michigan its first loss of the season.
Douglass and Jordan Morgan finished with 11 points each to lead the Wolverines offensively, but as a team the Maize and Blue shot just 29% from the field in the second half as the team fell to 3-1 on the season with the loss. Morgan also led the team with seven rebounds.
Syracuse forward Kris Joseph led the Orange with 22 points and five rebounds. Rick Jackson finished with a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds for Syracuse, and Scoop Jardine finished with 11 points, four rebounds and a pair of assists.
In the opening half the Wolverines jumped on top of the Orange in building a 31-29 halftime lead.
Syracuse claimed a quick 10-6 lead behind five points from Joseph, but Michigan rallied to tie it on a pair of occasions at 12-12 and 15-15 on a pair of Evan Smotrycz three-pointers.
With 6:46 left in the half Michigan claimed a 23-21 lead on a Stu Douglass triple. Minutes later Douglass added another triple, plus Jordan Morgan scored in the paint at Michigan opened up a 30-25 lead, its biggest of the game. The Orange, though, finished with a 4-1 run to close out the half and trim the U-M lead to just a pair of points.
In the second half Syracuse opened with a 9-2 run to surge back into the lead. Joseph, Jackson and Brandon Triche opened the Syracuse scoring after a Jordan Morgan bucket briefly stretched Michigan's halftime lead. Michigan matched it with five straight, a three-pointer from Tim Hardaway Jr. and a jumper from Darius Morris, but Rick Jackson rattled off four straight points to help the Orange back in front 44-40 with 10:40 to go.
Hardaway Jr. answered with a dunk, and then Douglass gave Michigan its last lead of the game with a three-pointer with 5:53 remaining.
With 4:32 to go the Orange took the lead back on a Jardine three-point jumper. Syracuse then pushed the lead to 50-45 with just two minutes remaining. Michigan got within three as just seconds remained, but got no closer.
With the loss the Wolverines fall to 3-1 on the season. Michigan returns to action to take on Clemson Tuesday night in the 2010 Big 10/ACC Challenge. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m.
Syracuse Survives U-M Scare 53-50
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