Wolverines Escape With 3-point Win!

The Michigan basketball team advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament with a 62-59 win over the Clemson Tigers in Kansas City, Mo. Manny Harris paced the Wolverines with 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists and a steal. Stu Douglass finished as the Wolverines second leading scorer with 12.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Michigan built a 16-point lead, watched it slip away, and then held on late as the Wolverines won their first NCAA tournament game in over 10 years with a hard-fought 62-59 win over the Clemson Tigers on Thursday night.

Manny Harris led the Wolverines with a game-high 23 points, seven rebounds and six assists. DeShawn Sims struggled offensively with just nine points, but the big man connected from distance in the final minutes to help end a long U-M scoring drought down the stretch. Stu Douglass finished with 12 points as the Wolverines second leading scorer.

Up three points at the half, Michigan surged out to a 16-point 46-30 lead five minutes into the final frame. Strong defense and a good inside-out attack helped the tenth-seeded Wolverines open the half with a 19-6 run.

Zack Novak, who finished with seven -- including a late free throw to force Clemson into a desperation three-point shot at the buzzer, hit a pair from deep in the corner to start the run. C.J. Lee added a deep ball as well. A pair of Douglass free throws gave Michigan its first 10-point advantage of the game, a 38-28 difference, and Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims each added points as well.

Clemson battled back over the next 10 minutes, and all of it coming without Terrence Oglesby who was ejected for an elbow to the face of Michigan's Douglass.

Trevor Booker's inside presence and ability to keep Clemson possessions alive on the offensive glass keyed the comeback effort. With five straight points near the middle of the half, Booker pulled Clemson within nine at 50-41. Bryan Narcisse added a Clemson layup to get even closer at 50-43.

Zack Gibson, who's tip outs and hustle plays helped Michigan regain a bit of momentum, ended the Clemson run with a layup on a feed from Manny Harris. Sims then hit from deep to give Michigan a 56-43 lead with 6:16 to play.

Clemson,though, again battled back.

Andre Young connected on a pair of quick shots from behind the three-point arc. K.C. Rivers then added another Clemson triple, and within two minutes the Tigers cut the lead to just 58-52.

Michigan's offense continued to struggle and Booker brought Clemson within a basket with 1:07 to go. Demontez Stitt added a put back with 49 seconds to go and Michigan's lead was just 58-57.

Manny Harris got into the lane on Michigan's next possession, though, and a three-point play provided Michigan with a four-point cushion in the final minutes. After Clemson cut the lead to two, Novak iced the game with a free throw at the line with 13 seconds to play.

In the first half the Wolverines overcame an early 9-3 deficit with hot shooting from behind the three-point arc. Douglass and Lee each added a three-ball to draw Michigan even, and Manny Harris and Anthony Wright kept Michigan on top with a bucket each, Wright's coming from behind the three-point arc.

Clemson would come back to tie the game late in the half, but a Douglass two-point jumper gave Michigan its 27-24 halftime lead.

Michigan is now in the round of 32. The Wolverines await the winner of the No. 2-seeded Oklahoma Sooners and the No. 15 seed from Morgan State. The second round match up will be played Saturday at a time to be determined later.

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