Michigan holds off Western IllinoisNov 18, 2011 - 6:26 AM Ann Arbor, MI (Sports Network) - Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 points, helping No. 17 Michigan hold off Western Illinois, 59-55, at Crisler Arena.
Trey Burke added 14 points for the Wolverines (3-0), who beat Ferris State and Towson in the last week to open their season. They next head to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational, and play Memphis on Monday to begin the tournament.
Michigan sank 14-of-22 free throws and shot 45 percent, barely escaping with the win.
"Maybe we need to get outside of Crisler for a couple games. We'll make some shots and come back hot as can be," said Michigan head coach John Beilein.
Ceola Clark III finished with 21 points to pace the Leathernecks (0-2), who lost at Dayton on Saturday.
The game was tied, 28-28, after a tight first half and the game remained close in the second.
Jordan Morgan sank consecutive baskets nearly five minutes into the second half to give Michigan a 39-32 advantage, and the Wolverines continued to lead -- though not by much.
Every possession counted in the low-scoring game, and Hardaway made the most of one with five minutes to play. After a series of failed possessions on both ends of the court, he drilled a three-pointer to make it a 51-42 contest.
Two jumpers by Obi Emegano pulled Western Illinois within five points, and he had a chance to trim the deficit further with a foul shot. But he missed it, and Hardaway came up big again, grabbing the rebound before sinking a layup.
The bucket gave Michigan a 53-46 lead with three minutes to play.
"I thought we battled with them toe-to-toe," Western Illinois coach Jim Molinari said. "We didn't back down once."
Another series of misses ushered the game into the final minute, when Evan Smotrycz's layup pushed the Wolverines' advantage back to nine. They made enough free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
Western Illinois made 49 percent of its shots, but turned the ball over 20 times and attempted only 12 free throws.
- WESTERN ILLINOIS: 55
Nov 17 10:31 PM
- WESTERN ILLINOIS: 28
Nov 17 9:17 PM
- WESTERN ILLINOIS: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Nov 17 8:32 PM
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