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MI smothers Nebraska to reach Big Ten Tournament semifinals

MI smothers Nebraska to reach Big Ten Tournament semifinals

But in the end, fifth-seeded MI found a way to survive and push past No. 12 Iowa, 77-71, in a whistle-filled, second-round game Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

The Wolverines survived in overtime against Iowa on Thursday, but they thrived against Nebraska on Friday. Junior Nicholas Baer hit a 3-pointer - his first of the game - with 59 seconds remaining to trim the lead to 67-64. "We got stops, especially in the second half".

Page, who scored 35 points in the tournament past year to tie the record, was 14 of 24 from the field, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range, and 6 of 9 from the foul line.

Iowa's defense held, forcing an Abdur-Rahkman miss at the buzzer to force overtime.

In overtime, Duncan Robinson's 3-pointer with 2:17 left gave the Wolverines a 72-70 lead. After falling to MI twice in the regular season, the Hawkeyes had a solid chance with a halftime lead and overtime to take down the defending Big Ten Tournament champions and keep their season alive for another day. The sophomore guard had just come off of a 25-point game against IL the previous night. MI never again trailed, outscoring the Hawkeyes, 10-4 in overtime.

"We got the win, but I don't know how", MI coach John Beilein said.

"I was proud of the way we came back", Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said in a release. "Even the shots that we missed in overtime that would have given us a chance to win was great execution and they were good shots by good shooters".

Lindsey Pulliam, who scored 10 of her 17 points in the fourth quarter for Northwestern, made it 47-42 after back-to-back jumpers with less than four minutes to go. Garza and Tyler Cook had 13 points apiece, while Bohannon had 11 to go along with six assists. He had just short-armed his last-second free-throw attempt. MI shot 45.2 percent, despite going 3-of-18 from 3-point range, and it made just 18-of-32 free throws.

Matthews led MI with 16 points and eight rebounds, Zavier Simpson scored 12 and Moritz Wagner added 11.

Iowa overcame a sloppy start - eight turnovers in the first 12 minutes - to lead 40-35 at the half.

Robinson countered with a 3-pointer and Simpson split four free throws to give MI a 74-70 edge with 1:17 to go.

The Wolverines were plagued by foul trouble, couldn't hit a 3-pointer in the first half and had no momentum heading into halftime. MI jumped out to a 33-15 lead and forced Nebraska i nto a 1-for-20 shooting stretch in the first half. They're two wins away from a second straight Big Ten Tournament title.

"Even though the season didn't go as we hoped, these guys never quit on the staff, the staff never quit on them, and most importantly, they didn't quit on each other".

Did you see that?

Sophomore Ryan Kriener played just six minutes in Wednesday's victory over IL. Iowa had one more chance. Iowa didn't hit its first field goal until 5 1/2 minutes elapsed.

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