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Michigan holds off Lipscomb in 83-75 nail-biter

Though it wasn’t pretty in the second half, the Wolverines came out on top in this one.

NCAA Basketball: Lipscomb at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Building off their blowout victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers, the Michigan Wolverines clawed their way to a seventh win on the season with a 83-75 victory over the Lipscomb Bison that was well within reach for either team until the final seconds.

First half

In a high powered start to the game, the Bison and Wolverines traded leads back and forth for the initial six minutes of the first half. It was Michigan which eventually wrestled the momentum in its corner, however, as it went on a dominant 14-2 scoring run on 7-for-8 shooting over the next three and a half minutes, pushing the lead to eight points.

Though the Wolverines grew their lead to as much as 13 points, starting Lipscomb guard Will Pruitt helped the Bison claw their way back into the game headed into the final minutes with three straight three-point makes. Ultimately, Michigan was able to prevent the lead from dwindling any further headed into the locker room, with the score 49-41.

Statistically, Jett Howard and Kobe Bufkin scored the lion’s share of the Wolverines’ points, racking up 14 each. Hunter Dickinson, Terrance Williams II and Dug McDaniel tied for the rebounds lead at the half, with each man grabbing three boards a piece.

Second half

Despite an initial push by the Wolverines to begin the second half, their shooting suddenly went ice cold coming out of the first media timeout — making just two of their next ten shots. With the Michigan offense on the ropes, Lipscomb took advantage, flipping a 12-point lead for the Wolverines at the 16:30 mark into a one-point lead of their own heading into the final eight minutes.

With the lead ping-ponging for majority of the final stretch, it took McDaniel’s first make of the game and a pair of missed shots from the Bison for the Wolverines to finally regain their lead for good just past the 3:00 mark. Though Lipscomb pushed hard to take the lead back in the final seconds, Michigan played well enough to prevent a comeback and left Crisler Center with a eight-point victory.

Bufkin ultimately finished just ahead of Howard as the points leader, notching 22 points on 8-for-9 shooting. Rather incredibly, it was McDaniel who finshed as the rebounds leader, racking up eight boards.

What’s next?

The Wolverines travel to Charlotte, North Carolina before the holiday break, where they’ll take on the North Carolina Tar Heels at the Jumpman Invitational.