INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Derrick Walton Jr. scored 26 points and Michigan made 16 3-pointers Friday to hold off Oklahoma State 92-91 in the first round of the Midwest Regional.
The seventh-seeded Wolverines (25-11) set a school record for 3s in an NCAA Tournament game. They have won six straight — five since a frightening plane mishap on the way to last week’s Big Ten Tournament.
Juwan Evans scored 23 points to lead the 10th-seeded Cowboys (20-13), who finished the season with four consecutive losses.
It looked like that streak might end Friday after Oklahoma State opened the second half on a 12-5 run to take a 52-46 lead.
But Michigan charged back with a relentless 3-point barrage, taking a 62-61 lead on Walton’s 3 with 12:26 left making three more 3s in a 14-4 run that made it 76-68.
The Cowboys never led again though they closed to within two twice in the final eight seconds.
Michigan sealed it at the free-throw line.
Oklahoma State finished the game with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
The Cowboys only allowed five baskets inside the arc in the second half. The problem: Michigan went 11 of 15 from 3-point range in the second half.
Even for one of the nation’s highest-scoring teams, it was simply too much to overcome. The Cowboys haven’t won an NCAA Tourney game since 2009.
D.J. Wilson had 19 points and four blocks for the Wolverines. Zak Irvin and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman each had 16.
Jeffrey Carroll had 19 points for Oklahoma State while Phil Forte added 12 points and Leyton Hammonds had 10.
Michigan: The Wolverines certainly have momentum. After winning four games in four days to claim the Big Ten Tournament title, Michigan might be the hottest team left in the tourney field.
Oklahoma State: For the Cowboys, the NCAA Tournament has been problematic. They’ve won only one NCAA game since 2006 and will have to wait at least another year to improve on that.
Michigan faces the winner of the Louisville-Jacksonville State on Sunday in Indianapolis. The Wolverines have never faced the Gamecocks and haven’t played the Cardinal since the 1997 NIT.
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