Horford shoulders load for Michigan

The Associated Press Published:

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Big Ten season hadn't even started yet, and Michigan coach John Beilein was already faced with life without star big man Mitch McGary.

Then he watched Glenn Robinson III go down early in the first half of the conference opener against Minnesota, and suddenly things looked even more bleak. That's when Jon Horford stepped in and delivered a performance that would make his big brother proud to help the Wolverines to a stirring victory.

Horford scored a career-high 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds to help Michigan withstand Robinson's loss and beat Minnesota 63-60 on Thursday night.

"It's always 'next man up' and we have parts that we can put in to the machine," said Horford, the younger brother of Atlanta Hawks versatile big man Al Horford. "Put them in, keep it running."

Zak Irvin scored 15 points on five 3-pointers for the Wolverines (9-4, 1-0), who lost Robinson to an injured left ankle. McGary is out indefinitely after having surgery on his lower back.

The severity or nature of Robinson's injury is still unknown, as is his status for the game on Sunday against Northwestern.

"We've got a lot of work to do to get him ready for Sunday," Beilein said.

NO. 4 WISCONSIN 76, NORTHWESTERN 49

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Freshman reserve Nigel Hayes had a career-high 19 points and No. 4 Wisconsin remained unbeaten with an easy 76-49 victory over Northwestern in their Big Ten opener.

Hayes went 8 for 12 from the field and had six rebounds. The prize recruit is averaging 15.3 points in his last three games.

No. 8 WICHITA ST. 82, S. ILLINOIS 67

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Fred VanVleet had 17 points, seven assists and two steals and Wichita State remained unbeaten behind 62 percent shooting in its Missouri Valley Conference opener.

No. 10 OREGON 70, UTAH 68, OT

SALT LAKE CITY -- Damyean Dotson stole a pass from Dallin Bachynski and raced untouched for a breakaway dunk with 1 second left in overtime for unbeaten Oregon in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.

Richard Amardi had 14 points and Dominic Artis added 12 for the Ducks (13-0, 1-0) who are off to their best start since winning 13 straight games to open the 2006-07 season.

No. 24 GONZAGA 73, SAINT MARY'S 51

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Przemek Karnowski had 15 points and nine rebounds for Gonzaga against archrival Saint Mary's.

MAC

AKRON 59, MARSHALL 58

AKRON -- Quincy Diggs drilled a 3-pointer with 2:29 left to push Akron to a seven-point lead and the Zips made it hold up for a 59-58 win over Marshall.

Chris Thomas scored on a pair of dunks and Ryan Taylor added a layup to cut the lead to one with 49 seconds remaining, but Kareem Canty missed a layup with five seconds left.

IPFW 65, BOWLING GREEN 60

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- Steve Forbes scored 15 points to lift IPFW to a 65-60 win over Bowling Green.

After taking a 34-21 advantage into the break, the Mastadons (11-5) had to hold off two strong second half challenges. Bowling Green (6-7) drew to within a point on a Josh Gomez jumper to make it 44-43 with 10:43 left but couldn't take the lead, then again closed in with a Jehvon Clarke layup that made it 53-51 with 4:56 to go.

WESTERN MICHIGAN 83, SIENA HEIGHTS 67

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Shayne Whittington scored 16 points to help propel Western Michigan to an 83-47 blowout over Siena Heights.

OHIO COLLEGES

WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE 82, YOUNGSTOWN STATE 76

MILWAUKEE -- Jordan Aaron scored 27 points boosting WisconsIn-Milwaukee to an 82-76 win over Youngstown State in a Horizon League conference opener for the schools.

Youngstown State (9-6, 0-1 Horizon) led at the start 2-0 but quickly fell behind Milwaukee trailing by 10 at the half and eventually 19 points, 69-50, on a pair of Aaron free throws with eight minutes left.

WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY 66, CLEVELAND STATE 55

ASHWAUBENON, Wisc. -- Alec Brown scored 17 points in helping Wisconson-Green Bay overcome a lackluster 23-point first half performance and pull off a 66-55 victory over Cleveland State in a Horizon League conference opener for both schools.

Keifer Sykes and Jordan Fouse added 15 apiece for Green Bay.

WRIGHT STATE 76, OAKLAND 64

DAYTON -- Miles Dixon and Chrishawn Hopkins each scored 13 points to spark Wright State past Oakland 76-64 in a Horizon Conference opener for both teams.

The Raiders (9-7, 1-0 Horizon) trailed early in the second half, but reclaimed the lead after a 3-pointer by JT Yoho. Nursing a three-point lead, Wright State surged ahead with a 17-6 run capped off by a 3-pointer from Reggie Arceneaux with 8:12 remaining.

Oakland (5-11, 0-1) could only trim their deficit to nine the rest of the way.

Wright State shot 48.8 percent from the field and outrebounded Oakland 35-25. Cole Darling scored 10 points and had seven rebounds.

The Bears matched the Raiders with 21 field goals, but had nine more attempts, finishing at 40.4 percent. Meanwhile, Wright State was 26 of 32 from the free-throw line.

Corey Petros led Oakland with 16 points and eight boards.

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