By Daniel Dullum
Thanks to some clutch free throw shooting by Nik Stauskas, Michigan held off Stanford 68-65 Saturday in a non-conference men’s basketball contest at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The Cardinal (8-3) had won seven of their last eight games going in, including a notable road win over No. 10 Connecticut on Wednesday. But they came up short in their bid for back-to-back road victories on the East Coast.
Stauskas, who led the Wolverines with 19 points, sank two crucial free throws with nine seconds remaining in the second half. Glenn Robinson III added 17 points for Michigan (7-4), which turned the ball over only eight times. Wolverines reserve Zak Irvin added 12 points.
Stefan Nastic equaled his season-high of 14 points for the Cardinal, but he fouled out with 5:24 to play. Chasson Randle, meanwhile, led Stanford with 18 points.
Stanford pulled to within one point in the second half, but could never get ahead of the Wolverines, who surged ahead at the 14:42 mark of the first half and never trailed for the remainder of the game.
Michigan’s Caris LeVert missed a pair of foul shots with 45 seconds remaining in the second half, which left the door open for a Cardinal comeback. After Grant Verhoeven made 1 of 2 free throws for Stanford with :44 showing, the Cardinal chose not to foul and Robinson’s layup put Michigan up 66-62 with 14 seconds left.
Chasson Randle’s 3-pointer cut the Cardinal deficit to 66-65 before Stauskas hit his two foul shots that gave Michigan some breathing room. Randle’s last-second 3-point attempt was short as time expired.
It was Michigan’s first game since dropping a 72-70 home decision to No. 1-Arizona on Dec. 14.
After a holiday break, the Cardinal return home on Sunday, Dec. 29, for a non-conference game against Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.