Michigan advances in NITMar 14, 2007 - 1:55 AM ANN ARBOR, Michigan (Ticker) -- Michigan looks to go one step further in the National Invitation Tournament this season.
Jerret Smith scored 15 points to lead the third-seeded Wolverines to a decisive first-round victory over Utah State, 68-58.
Smith, a 6-3 sophomore guard, took only six shots from the field but played a role in the two most important runs of the game for Michigan, which lost the NIT championship game to South Carolina in 2006.
The Wolverines (22-12) went into the half with a 40-28 lead after closing the opening 20 minutes with a 20-7 run. Smith scored the final five points of the half, including nailing a 3-pointer with four seconds left to push the lead to double digits.
The Aggies (23-12) pulled to within 54-53 when Durrall Peterson connected from beyond the arc with 8:18 remaining in the game.
Michigan followed Peterson's 3-pointer with a 12-0 run over the next seven minutes, during which Smith scored seven points, to put the game out of reach.
DeShawn Sims scored 14 points and Brent Petway added 12 for the Wolverines, who outrebounded Utah State, 39-30.
Michigan, the No. 3 seed in the North Region, will play at Florida State on Thursday.
Junior guard Jaycee Carroll led the Aggies with 22 points.
- NIT NORTH REGION
NCAA BB NIT NORTH REGION
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
UTAH ST 28 30 58
MICHIGAN 40 28 68 FINAL
Mar 13 8:50 PM
- NIT NORTH REGION
NCAA BB (6) UTAH ST 28
(3) MICHIGAN 40 HALFTIME
Mar 13 7:45 PM
- Michigan-UCLA basketball to play home-and-home series May 13
- Michigan hires assistant hoops coaches Donlon and Washington May 4
- Michigan's Chatman receives release, plans to transfer May 3
- Michigan's Dawkins transferring to play for father at UCF Apr 6
- Michigan lifts transfer restrictions for Doyle, Albrecht Apr 1
- Doyle, Albrecht receive transfer releases from Michigan Mar 29
- Utah State's Jalen Moore to submit name for NBA draft Mar 25
- Michigan-Notre Dame is still a great rivalry Mar 17
- Michigan's last-second shots set up First Four vs Tulsa Mar 16
- Tough finish for injured Michigan seniors LeVert, Albrecht Mar 2
- Michigan's Caris LeVert out for season because of ailing leg Mar 1
- Michigan's LeVert returns from leg injury against Purdue Feb 13