MILWAUKEE — When it counted, Michigan exerted its will on an overmatched opponent.
Glenn Robinson III scored 14 points, Jordan Morgan had 10 points and 10 rebounds, and the second-seeded Wolverines started their quest for a second straight trip to the Final Four by beating 15th-seeded Wofford 57-40 on Thursday night in the NCAA tournament.
Michigan (26-8) tried to capitalize on its decisive edge in athleticism on the undersized Terriers (20-13) but had some nervous moments after missing 15 of their first 18 shots in the second half.
Karl Cochran’s 3-pointer with 9:25 left — Wofford’s only 3 of the game — whittled an 18-point deficit to 40-33.
But the Wolverines regrouped, and Caris LeVert’s 3 with 4:17 left gave them a 15-point lead to deflate Wofford’s dreams of an upset.
Cochran finished with 17 points.
Nik Stauskas had 15 points for the Wolverines, while Robinson hit big shots in the same arena his father played in as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1990s.
The elder Robinson, sitting in the Bradley Center stands, surely was impressed with pesky Wofford, the Southern Conference champions who hustled to the final buzzer.
It wasn’t a particularly pretty game. Michigan opened the second half shooting 2 of 12, and Cochran’s 3 with 9:25 left got Wofford within seven points. Even the crowd broke out into a “Let’s Go Wofford!” chant.
As if flipping on a switch, the Wolverines then turned up their intensity. Morgan glided in for a basket and Robinson followed with a tip-in.
After a missed jumper by Spencer Collins, LeVert hit his 3 from the top of the circle to get the lead back to 15.
Michigan shot 33 percent in the second half after shooting 63 percent in the first.
The spunky Terriers knew they had to play a perfect game to have any shot at taking down Michigan, but they were just 1 of 19 from 3-point range.
Michigan was never truly threatened in spite of Wofford’s second-half spurt, leading 34-20 at halftime thanks in part to 11 points from Robinson.