Ann Arbor, MI (SportsNetwork.com) – Spike Albrecht totaled 11 points and a
career-high nine assists with no turnovers off the bench as No. 17 Michigan
held off Syracuse, 68-65, in this installment of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Albrecht, who became a household name when he scored 17 first-half points
against Louisville in the National Championship game two years ago, broke a
63-63 deadlock when he stepped into an NBA range 3-pointer with 31 seconds to
Michael Gbinije got a quick two at the other end, and Syracuse (5-2) had two
chances to take a lead after Michigan missed two free throws but squandered
both. Chris McCullough, who secured Derrick Walton’s miss from the line,
overthrew Kaleb Joseph on his outlet pass. LeVert then missed the front end of
a 1-and-1, but Joseph lost the ball on a drive to the basket.
LeVert sank two with 4.5 to play, and Joseph’s final look from 3 hit nothing
but air as the clock expired.
Zak Irvin led Michigan (6-1) with 18 points while LeVert and Ricky Doyle
scored 12 apiece. The Wolverines improved to 5-0 at home this season.
Trevor Cooney and Rakeem Christmas had 16 and 15 points, respectively, in the
setback. McCullough finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Michigan started 0-for-7 from the floor before Kameron Chatman finally hit a
jumper from the free throw line. That bucket sparked a 9-0 Wolverines run,
with Irvin canning a 3 and throwing down a dunk in transition during the
Gbinije then capped an 8-0 Orange run with a three-point play. It was 12-9 at
that point, and neither team led by more than three during the rest of a back-
and-forth first half.
Christmas followed another Irvin dunk with a three-point play at the other
end, and Syracuse led 31-29 at halftime.
It was a tale of two halves for Michigan’s outside shooting. The Maize and
Blue struggled to find the range in the opening 20 minutes, shooting just 3-
for-17 from the arc before erupting for 8-of-16 in the second half.
Albrecht came alive early in the second half. He had a hand in 12 straight
points for the Wolverines. The junior hit a 3, assisted on triples by Walton
and Irvin, and went behind the back to set up Doyle’s three-point play. Cooney
hit a pair of treys during that run to keep Syracuse close.
Albrecht then potted another long 3-pointer and assisted on two more baskets,
including Irvin’s fourth 3 of the game, and the Wolverines went up 58-48 with
seven minutes to play.
Syracuse used an 11-3 run from there to close the gap to two. Cooney hit
twice from behind the arc and McCullough scored four points during the spurt
that forced Michigan to use a timeout.
With 56 seconds remaining, Christmas tied the game with an uncontested layup.
Walton returned after missing one game with a toe injury … Syracuse had 19
turnovers compared to just seven from Michigan … Chatman had 10 points and a
career-best nine rebounds.