Michigan Wins Second Straight

With a potential bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line, the Michigan basketball team improved to 7-7 in conference play with a much needed 74-62 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Thursday night at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor. Zack Novak led Michigan scorers with 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting from downtown.

ANN ARBOR -- The Michigan basketball team picked up a much needed win if its going to dance for the first time in over 10 years.

Jumping out to an early 40-25 halftime lead, the Michigan basketball team coasted to a 74-62 win over the visiting Minnesota Golden Gophers on Thursday night at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor.

With the win, the Wolverines, 17-10 overall and 7-7 in Big 10 play, are back within striking distance of the NCAA Tournament. Key road contests at Iowa, then trips to Wisconsin and Minnesota to end the season, will likely decide the Maize and Blue's postseason fate. Will it be the NCAA Tournament? Will it be another NIT?

Through the first 10 minutes of action on Thursday night, the two teams battled back and forth. Minnesota, behind a pair of Travis Busch free throws, even managed a brief 14-12 lead with 10:41 to play in the first half.

Michigan, though, answered. Zack Novak, who finished with a game-high 18 for the Wolverines, hit his fourth triple of the opening half to put Michigan on top 15-14.

It was the start of an 18-4 Michigan run, one which put the game safely out of reach before the end of the first half. Following the the Novak triple, Zack Gibson and Manny harris each contributed with a pair of buckets. Stu Douglass and Kelvin Grady each added a triple as well.

The teams then exchanged buckets until DeShawn Sims triple with 17-seconds left in the half put Michigan up a comfortable 15 points.

Eight minutes into the second half the lead ballooned to 20 points. Novak hit from deep again, and a Stu Douglass layup provided Michigan with its largest lead of the game.

Over the final 10 minutes, the Gophers spent time trimming away at that lead, but they were never able to get closer than the 12-point final deficit.

As a team, the Wolverines shot a blistering 13-of-28 from behind the three-point line.

with the win, the Wolverines look to get back on the right side of .500 with a road trip to Carver-Hawkwye Arena this Sunday at 5:00 p.m.

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