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Michigan defeats Minnesota, 66-56, clinches share of Big Ten crown

Spike Albrecht #2 of the Michigan Wolverines drives against Malik Smith #30 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the first half of a game on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, MI. U-M won, 66-56.
Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines defeated the visiting Minnesota Golden Gophers, 66-56, on Saturday night, and in the process clinched a share of the Big Ten regular season crown in front on a boisterous crowd at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor. The win improved the No. 16-ranked Wolverines to 21-7 overall on the college basketball season and 13-3 in conference play, which moved them two games ahead of the Michigan State Spartans, who lost at home earlier on Saturday to the Illinois Fighting Illini.

As has often been the case this year, Nik Stauskas topped the scoring for the Maize and Blue, as the sophomore guard tallied 21 points, including 5-8 from three-point range. Caris LeVert added to his terrific sophomore campaign for the Wolverines with 13 points, while Glenn Robinson III added 12 points. Austin Hollins paced the Gophers with 16 points.

Michigan nearly let an 11-point halftime margin slip away following the break, as Minnesota cut the deficit to two points, 54-52, with 4:32 remaining, but the Wolverines found their offensive touch down the stretch, which began when Spike Albrecht brought the crowd to its feet with a sparkling under-the-hoop feed to Jordan Morgan.

Read more about the game in recap on Michigan's official athletic website, The Wolverines close out the regular season with a Tuesday, Mar. 4 road matchup against Illinois and a Saturday, Mar. 8 home date with Indiana. ESPN will televise both contests.

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