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Blog: Notre Dame beats Michigan behind big second half

Geoff Robinson
The Detroit News
Notre Dame forward Zach Auguste (30) defends a shot by Michigan forward Moritz Wagner (13) in the first half. Michigan vs Notre Dame in Round 1 of the NCAA Tournament the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York on Mar. 18, 2016. 
(Robin Buckson / Detroit News)

Fighting Irish get it done

Michigan got its stop, but it dribbled the clock down to about 15 seconds and Zak Irvin pulled up from beyond the arc to have his 3-pointer come up just short.

The Wolverines pulled in a rebound with just under 40 seconds to play and waited way too long to get their shot off. Bonzie Colson stepped to the line and hit two free throws with 11 seconds left and that was all she wrote. The Fighting Irish added two late free throws and held on to win, 70-63.

It was a dismal second half. Michigan scored just 22 points and shot 9-for-32 from the field. It just wasn't their night.

Abdur-Rahkman scored 15 to pace the Wolverines, while Derrick Walton finished with 10, all of which came in the second half.

V.J. Beachem had a game-high 18 for Notre Dame.

A little bit of back-and-forth

Mark Donnal got an easy layup and Michigan forced a turnover when it need it most. Donnal couldn't convert after a nice pass from Zak Irvin and the Irish took advantage as Bonzie Colson reeled in an offensive rebound and got the put back. Irvin got a layup of his own to cut it to 66-63, and that's where we stand now with 1:01 left to play.

It's crunch time in the big apple

Nerves are at the forefront for Michigan fans right now as the Wolverines are locked in a battle with the Fighting Irish. After a another V.J. Beachem 3-pointer, Notre Dame leads, 64-59, with 3:01 left to play.

Beachem is 7-for-7 from the field, including 4-for-4 from downtown.

Bonzie Colson got one in the lane for Notre Dame to cut the Michigan lead to one, but Ricky Doyle drew a charge on the Irish's next possession and Zak Irvin got a bunny of his own to push the lead back three at 56-53. That lead didn't last long as Beachem drilled a 3-pointer from the corner.

Zach Auguste hit a free throw to put the Irish up one, but Abdur-Rahkman made a nice dribble-drive and found Mark Donnal for an easy lay in.

Wolverines fight back

It's become a battle of attrition as both teams struggle to put the ball in the basket.

Notre Dame took its first lead of the night on a V.J. Beachem 3-pointer. Michigan answered with a long ball of its own from Muhammed Abdur-Rahkman, his first points of the second half after scoring 12 in the first half. And finally, Zak Irvin got one to drop from beyond the arc to give the Wolverines their lead back, 54-51, with 8:13 left to play.

Prior to the Rahkman 3-ball, Michigan had missed eight consecutive shots.

Game on

Matt Ryan hit a big shot from long distance to tie the game at 48-48 with 12:17 left to play.

Notre Dame has used the free throw line and a V.J. Beachem 3-pointer to erase the 12-point halftime deficit as the Wolverines are struggling mightily from the field.

Zak Irvin is just 1-for-9 from the field and needs to find his stroke immediately if the Wolverines are going to fight back. As a team, Michigan is 3-for-14 from the field in the second half.

Notre Dame off to quick start out of break

Steve Vasturia picked up a quick five points for the Fighting Irish in the first minute of the second half to cut the Michigan lead to seven. Matt Farrell knocked down a 3-pointer in the corner to make it an 8-0 run for the Irish. Mark Donnal answered on a nice pick-and-roll with Derrick Walton, but the Wolverines have a fight on their hands. They gained a bit of separation on a Duncan Robinson long ball and still lead, 46-39, with 16:01 remaining.

Michigan has had trouble moving the ball as Notre Dame went back to man-to-man defense. They excelled against it in the first half, but the Irish can't play zone the whole game and give the Wolverines open looks from 3-point range all night.

Wolverines push back, take big lead into break

Michigan got off to a hot start, but the Fighting Irish fought back and cut what was a 12-point deficit to five on a Zach Auguste bucket and a foul. With a chance to cut it to four, Auguste missed, and he'll regret it. The Wolverines answered with seven quick points before the break, getting two easy buckets from Moe Wagner and a 3-pointer from Duncan Robinson.

Derrick Walton and Muhammed Abdur-Rahkman have been the story for the Wolverines. Rahkman has 12 points, while Walton has been big on both sides of the ball with 10 points, four assists and four steals.

Auguste has been a force inside for Notre Dame, pacing the Irish with nine points.

Michigan is dominating from beyond the arc, going 7-for-14 in the first half, while the Irish are just 2-for-5.

Irish chipping away

Notre Dame has hit its last seven shots, and these teams are trading blows now.

Abdur-Rahkman answered Notre Dame's first two 3-pointers of the game, and he now leads Michigan in scoring with 12 points.

Notre Dame went to a zone defense. It worked for a few minutes when Andrew Dakich came in to give Derrick Walton a blow. But Walton did come back into the game, picking up his fourth steal and leading a break that led to a 3-pointer from Duncan Robinson to push the Wolverine lead to 12 at 29-17.

The Irish are getting some things at the rim and they finally got it going from distance. Game on.

As it stands now, Michigan leads, 34-29, with 1:36 to play until halftime.

Walton, Wolverines firing on all cylinders

Derrick Walton hit his second 3-pointer of the day, and anything you get from him from the outside is a big plus for the Wolverines. Aubrey Dawkins followed that up with a long range bomb as the shot clock was winding down, and Walton popped his head up again for a steal and layup (he was fouled but would miss the free throw) that pushed Michigan out to a 24-13 lead.

The Wolverines added another transition bucket to push their run to 10-0. They lead 26-13 with 8:54 to play in the first half.

Teams settling in

With Mark Donnal and Ricky Doyle both picking up early fouls, fan-favorite Moe Wagner came in and contributed right away with a bucket. Derrick Walton hit a transition 3-pointer to stretch the Wolverines' lead to seven at 14-7. After a couple Michigan free throws and an big dunk from Demetrius Jackson for the Irish, we sit at 16-11 with 11:54 remaining in the first half.

Abdur-Rahkman is pacing the maize and blue with seven early points.

Irish starter Bonzie Colson has two early fouls for the Irish. That could be big.

Solid start for Michigan

Muhammed Abdur-Rahkman hit the game's first 3-pointer to put the Wolverines up 5-0 early on. Notre Dame looked out of sync, missing its first three shots from the field, but that drought came to an end on a Bonzie Colson jumper. It's 9-4, Michigan leads, with 14:57 to play in the first half.

Michigan got on the board first with a Derrick Walton steal and assist to Zak Irvin for the transition layup. The Wolverines did miss their first two attempts from deep.

Tip pushed back

Michigan and Notre Dame will now tip off at 10:12 p.m. after the Stephen F. Austin victory over West Virginia ran nearly two and a half hours.

Original scheduled time was 9:40 p.m. for the Wolverines and Fighting Irish.

Stephen F. Austin clowns West Virginia

The 14-seed Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks beat 3-seed West Virginia handily, 70-56, and await the winner of Michigan vs. Notre Dame.

After watching the show SFA just put on, I'm not sure they shouldn't be favored in their next game on Sunday. This team has won tournament games before, and they're a confident bunch that really looks nothing like a 14-seed.

The madness continues...

Rivalry renewed...sort of

Michigan and Notre Dame fan bases will clash tonight in Brooklyn as their basketball teams look for a place in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The juice in this matchup doesn't come from coaches John Beilein and Mike Bray, who used to go toe-to-toe in the old Big East when Beilein was at West Virginia. No, the juice here comes from fan bases who love to hate each other because each feels it has the best football program in all the land.

Oh, and there's that thing where former Michigan Football coach Brady Hoke called the Irish chicken for bowing out of their series with the Wolverines.

This is going to be fun. The arena is sold out and both fight songs will be blasting through the rafters all night long. It may not be Michigan vs. Notre Dame on the gridiron, but it's a matchup that's worth tuning into.