NEW YORK -- Stanford started slow and got going far too late in a 68-65 loss to Michigan at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday night.
The Cardinal, which entered the game averaging 79 points per game, was punchless for much of the night but a spirited second-half effort led by Chasson Randle helped cut a 10-point deficit to one in the final seconds.
Randle scored all 18 of his points over the final 20 minutes. The Cardinal (8-3) trailed 56-46 with 7:32 left when it made its move. Randle went 6 for 6 in three trips to the free-throw line, hit a mid-range jumper and then scored on a hanging, off-the-glass shot to make it 62-60 with 2:12 remaining.
He made another clutch drive to the rim in the final seconds, scoring a layup and drawing a foul to make it 66-65 with nine seconds left. Michigan's Nick Stauskas made two free throws, and a tightly contested 3 from Randle at the buzzer fell short.
"I thought (Michigan) played a heck of a game and with our group, we had moments and we just couldn't ever make it over the hump," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "Our kids have a will to win. They've always had that. They're going to compete to the last minute and they're not going to quit. Even down late, 10 or 12, our guys realize it's possession by possession. We've been in this situation before and know we can make a run, so our guys believe.
"Tonight we just didn't have enough to overcome the lead that they had."
The Wolverines (7-4) claimed a 51-42 lead at the 11:04 mark the second half after two Stauskas free throws and then went up 56-46 after Spike Albrecht hit a 3 with 7:32 remaining. It was just enough of a cushion to get the win.
Stanford center Stefan Nastic was effective inside, posting 14 points and five rebounds, but he fouled out with 5:24 remaining and Stanford trailing 56-50. Michigan was without starting center Mitch McGary and Stanford tried to go inside, getting 10 points from forward Dwight Powell, but the Cardinal couldn't convert enough in the paint down the stretch.
"That's an emphasis for us anyway, we want the ball going inside to our guys," Dawkins said. "I thought (Michigan) did a great job on defense. They decided to front the post and were bringing help on the backside as well, so you really had to fit that pass in. That became more difficult as the night wore on."
Powell and Nastic were the only other two Cardinal other than Randle in double figures, with Josh Huestis adding nine points.
Anthony Brown, Stanford's go-to perimeter shooter, was held to just seven points.
Without McGary, Michigan relied on one of its favorite habits. The Wolverines launched 27 3-pointers, but only made eight as they too struggled to find a consistent rhythm offensively. But the Wolverines found the free throw line down the stretch and locked down on defense when it counted.
"It would have been a difficult holiday season here if we had not won this game," Michigan coach John Beilein said.
Stauskas led Michigan with 19 points, Glenn Robinson III scored 17 and Zak Irvin came off the bench to score 12, all from behind the 3-point line.
dec. 29 game
Cal Poly (4-7) at Stanford (8-3), 4 p.m. Pac-12 Networks