Recap: Michigan vs. Charlotte
San Juan, PR (SportsNetwork.com) - Terrence Williams tipped in his own missed layup with less than a second remaining as the Charlotte 49ers capped an improbable run to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off title with a 63-61 win over the 14th-ranked Michigan Wolverines.
Spike Albrecht split a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left to make it 61-59 in favor of the 49ers, but Jordan Morgan hustled for the rebound and forced a jump-ball on the missed second shot. Michigan (4-2) had the possession arrow and out of a timeout, Mitch McGary found himself all alone under the basket for the game-tying layup.
Pierria Henry pushed the ball up the floor for Charlotte (5-1) and dumped off a pass to Williams, who missed a point-blank layup but had the presence of mind to tap in the rebound. Jordan Morgan's Hail Mary pass with 0.4 seconds left was tipped away as time expired.
"You almost don't know what to say after that one," said Charlotte head coach Alan Major. "That was one of the most incredible basketball games I've ever been a part of."
Charlotte previously took down Kansas State and Northeastern en route to its second early season tournament championship in as many seasons. The 49ers won the Great Alaska Shootout last year.
Denzel Ingram led a balanced Charlotte attack with 12 points off the bench, while Henry tallied 11 points, six rebounds and six assists. Willie Clayton added 10 points with 15 rebounds.
Nik Stauskas battled through an ankle injury and netted 20 points in the setback. Stauskas scored at least 20 in all three games in San Juan and was named Tournament MVP.
"Another March game played in November," said Michigan head coach John Beilein. "Charlotte was really good. I was really impressed with their personnel and defense. They played a terrific game."
Florida State edged Northeastern on a last second putback earlier in the day to claim third place.
Stauskas scored 14 of the first 20 points for Michigan, which trailed for the majority of the first half as the rest of the Wolverines missed 17 straight shots to open the game until Albrecht's layup at the 6:51 mark.
Clayton's layup had the 49ers up 32-24 with 2:49 to go in the half, but Albrecht and Zak Irvin drained consecutive treys to pull the Wolverines within two. Ingram hit a three out of a timeout with six ticks left in the period, however, to give Charlotte a 35-30 advantage.
Charlotte opened the second half on a 7-0 surge, but Michigan gradually cut into its deficit behind Caris LeVert, who spent most of the first half on the bench after picking up two early fouls. The sophomore fueled Michigan's comeback effort, converting a difficult reverse layup before knifing through the lane and feeding Jon Horford for an open layup to bring the Wolverines within four.
LeVert's triple after a Charlotte turnover cut the 49ers' lead to 42-41 with 11:43 remaining.
The 49ers trailed for the first time since 8-7 on a pair of LeVert free throws with 6:12 to go, but they stayed resilient. Williams' jumper helped Charlotte regain the lead and Ben Cherry added to it with a 3-pointer.
Williams missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with Charlotte in front 61-58 late, setting the stage for the climactic finale.Game Notes
Stauskas, along with Shawn Lester (Charlotte), Ian Miller (Florida State),
Scott Eatherton (Northeastern) and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Georgetown) made up
the All-Tournament Team ... Michigan forward Glenn Robinson III left the game
in the first half with an unspecified injury and did not return ... Through
six games this season, Charlotte has 90 turnovers to 73 assists ... The 49ers
have now won both all-time meetings between the two schools ... Charlotte has
won six of its last 10 against ranked foes ... Both benches contributed 24