The Michigan basketball team did its damage behind the perimeter, then had to hold off a late rush to earn its first win of the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
The Wolverines made 11 of 15 3-pointers in the second half of a 92-91 win against Oklahoma State in a first-round NCAA Tournament game Friday in Indianapolis, and overcame a 6-point deficit in the first half against the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State’s Jawun Evans cut Michigan’s lead to 2 points with less than 5 seconds left, but D.J. Wilson hit a pair of free throws with 3.7 seconds left to secure the win. Evans hit a 3-pointer as time expired.
With Wolverines forward Moritz Wagner called for 2 early fouls, Michigan and Oklahoma State shot a combined 2 for 12 in the first 5 minutes, and Michigan was 5 for 19 from the floor with about 9 minutes left in the first half.
Oklahoma State (20-13) took a 24-18 lead by playing aggressively under the basket. The Cowboys had 13 rebounds with less than 8 minutes left and finished the first half with 22 rebounds.
With Wagner back in the game, Michigan (25-11) cut OSU’s lead to 27-22 with about 7 minutes left in the half and took its first lead when Zak Irvin’s 3-pointer gave Michigan a 28-27 edge, part of an 8-0 run by Michigan.
Walton made 3 free throws with 4.3 seconds left to give the Wolverines a 41-40 lead at halftime.
Xavier Simpson replaced Walton at point guard for Michigan about 5 minutes into the second half, as Walton appeared to sustain an injury and was limping on the court.
Oklahoma State opened its lead to 52-46, but Michigan tied the game at 59-59 on Wagner’s free throws 7 minutes into the second half.
The turning point came when Michigan took a 70-64 lead with less than 10 minutes left on back-to-back 3-pointers by Walton, but Oklahoma State cut Michigan’s lead to 3 with 2:05 left on Mitchell Solomon’s dunk.
Why it happened
Rebounding carried Oklahoma State in the first half, but 3-point shooting propelled Michigan in the second half.
Oklahoma State had 22 rebounds in the first half but only 18 in the second half.
Michigan went 11 for 15 on 3-point shooting in the second half after a 5-for-14 effort in the first half.
What it means
Oklahoma State’s season ends, while Michigan moves on to the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
For Michigan, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman finished with 16 points and completed a 4-point play in the first half to help Michigan to a 34-32 lead.
Walton took over in the second half, scoring 19 of his 26 points.
Jawun Evans led Oklahoma State with 23 points.
Michigan struggled to find its footing in the first half, with Wagner called for 2 fouls in the first 5 minutes. Michigan also struggled with shooting and rebounding in the first half. Less than 13 minutes in, Michigan was 6 for 20 from the floor.
Who was there
Former Michigan basketball star Glenn Robinson III.
— Glenn Robinson III (@GRIII) March 17, 2017
Former Oklahoma State star Bryant “Big Country” Reeves.
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 17, 2017
Michigan will play either No. 2 Louisville or No. 15 Jacksonville State in an NCAA second-round game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Sunday in Indianapolis, with a time to be announced.