Michigan coach John Beilein and Junior Zak Irvin discuss the Wolverines win over Minnesota and Irvin's big night.

Michigan coach John Beilein and Junior Zak Irvin discuss the Wolverines win over Minnesota and Irvin's big night.

Gritty, not pretty. Michigan's 74-69 win over Minnesota Wednesday night at Crisler Center was anything but perfect, but the Wolverines will take it improving to 4-2 in Big Ten Conference play.

Powered by 19-points and 11 rebounds out of junior guard Zak Irvin, Michigan raced out to an early lead before hanging on late against a stingy Gophers team.

"As hard as it may seem I really cherish those type of wins," Michigan coach John Beilein said afterward. "When we shoot 30 some percent or less than 30 percent from three, 29, and we still win games. It just happens. 

"I knew they were going to be challenging for us because of their overall quickness and we probably made a choice to not let King beat us from the outside and it opened things up for their guards."

As Beilein noted a win is a win and the Wolverines needed it, dropping Minnesota to 0-7 in the conference.

Irvin's play continues to improve and at the perfect time as senior Caris LeVert battles a lower leg injury, enough to keep him out of the lineup again against Minnesota.

"I think he's playing at the highest level he's played since he's been here," Beilein said. "Because he's putting it all together. There were days as a freshman where he might hit six threes and that has yet to come. 

"But he wasn't getting six rebounds or having assists or getting to the basket. Now he's getting to the basket, he's shooting the ball well. We don't win without him right now, he's playing really well."

It's been a slow process for Irvin this season after undergoing surgery to his back during the summer.

Finding his stroke from outside, hitting 3-of-5 three-pointers against the Gophers, Irvin is being counted on more and more on both ends of the floor.

"My rhythm is starting to come back now," Irvin said. "My shot was feeling good when I got out there."

"It wasn't a pretty win, we struggled shooting from the floor but I was just happy we were able to pull it out," Irvin added. "Tough one for us."


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