NEW YORK -- Nik Stauskas scored 19 points, and made 2 crucial free throws with 9 seconds left, leading Michigan to a 68-65 win over Stanford at the Barclays Center on Saturday night.
Forward Glenn Robinson III added 17 for the Wolverines (7-4), who took care of the basketball all night. They turned it over only eight times.
Stanford (8-3) took an early 5-0 lead, as both teams struggled to find their footing through a sloppy first five minutes. But once Michigan took command at 14:42 mark of the opening half, they stayed in front the rest of the way.
The Cardinal were able to cut the margin to 1, but were unable to get over the hump. They stayed in it thanks to a strong performance from Stefan Nastic, who equaled his season-high of 14. But he fouled out with 5:24 remaining, and Stanford's chances took a huge blow. Chasson Randle led the Cardinal with 18.
The Wolverines got a huge lift from Zak Irvin, who scored 12 points off the bench. His strong relief performance helped Michigan overcome Caris LeVert's off night. The sophomore guard scored only 1 point, down from his season average entering the night of 14 per game. Worse yet, he missed two key free throws with 45 seconds left.
But when Michigan got the ball back with 44 seconds remaining, after Grant Verhoeven made 1-of-2 from the line on the ensuing Stanford possession, the Cardinal elected not to foul. The decision proved costly as Robinson made a layup with 14 seconds to go. Chasson Randle kept the Cardinal alive with a 3-point play to cut the margin to 1, but 2 Nik Stauskas free throws put the Wolverines back up by 3. A last-second 3 point attempt by Randle was no good.
Michigan, back in action for the first time since a tough 72-70 home loss to no. 1 Arizona on Dec. 14, were able to prevail despite shooting only 8-for-27 from beyond the arc.
The Cardinal entered the night as winners of seven of their last eight -- including a huge road victory over No. 10 Connecticut earlier this week. But they came up short in a bid to make it two straight impressive wins on the east coast.