Michigan barely holds off Syracuse
Spike Albrecht hits a three-pointer with 31 seconds left and the No. 17 Wolverines prevail.
SPIKE ALBRECHT found enough room against the Syracuse zone for one more three-pointer, and when it rattled in with about a half-minute remaining, Michigan had regained the edge.
"All night, we were really just trying to get two feet in the paint and Derrick [Walton] did a great job getting into the paint and ended up drawing the defense in," Albrecht said. "He made a great kickout and fortunately I was able to knock it down."
Albrecht's shot with 31 seconds remaining put Michigan ahead, and the 17th-ranked Wolverines held on to beat visiting Syracuse, 68-65, last night. The ACC-Big Ten Challenge matchup was the first meeting between these teams since Michigan won an NCAA semifinal in 2013.
Albrecht's shot broke a 63-63 tie after Syracuse (5-2) had rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit. Michigan led, 66-65, after Michael Gbinije scored inside for the Orange, and Derrick Walton missed the front end of a one-and-one for the Wolverines. But Syracuse freshman Chris McCullough threw the ball out of bounds with 15 seconds remaining.
Caris LeVert missed the front end of another one-and-one, but the Orange turned the ball over again. This time it was Kaleb Joseph - another freshman - who lost the ball in the frontcourt. LeVert made two free throws to put Michigan (6-1) back up by three, and Joseph came up short on a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Zak Irvin scored 18 points for Michigan, which finished 11 of 33 from 3-point range after going 3-for-17 in the first half. Walton returned from a toe injury and played 26 minutes, but it was Albrecht who made the big plays in the second half. He finished with 11 points and nine assists.
LeVert and Ricky Doyle scored 12 points each.
Trevor Cooney scored 16 points for Syracuse, and Rakeem Christmas added 15.
In other games
* At Arizona, Stanley Johnson and Gabe York scored 18 points each, and the No. 3 Wildcats (7-0) blitzed Gardner-Webb during a 16-0 second-half run to roll over the Bulldogs, 91-65.
* At Miami, Deandre Burnett had 19 points and the No. 15 Hurricanes (8-0) held off No. 24 Illinois, 70-61. Rayvonte Rice led the Illini (6-1) with 22 points.
* At Iowa State, Matt Thomas scored 14 points, Georges Niang added 13 and the 20th-ranked Cyclones (4-1) pounded Lamar, 96-59.
* At Texas, freshman Myles Turner scored 18 points to carry the No. 6 Longhorns to a 63-53 win over Texas-Arlington - a lethargic tuneup before Texas (7-0) heads to Kentucky to play the No. 1 Wildcats.
* At Gonzaga, Kyle Wiltjer scored 20 points as the No. 9 Bulldogs (7-0) used a big second half to beat scrappy Southeastern Louisiana, 76-57. Domantas Sabonis added 14 points and Kevin Pangos 12 for Gonzaga.
* UConn says X-rays taken on guard Ryan Boatright's sprained left ankle showed no structural damage, but it is not clear whether he will be ready to play when the Huskies host Yale on Friday. UConn's leading scorer rolled the ankle while trying to contest Jonathan Holmes game-winning shot in a 55-54 loss to Texas on Sunday.