The No. 25 Michigan Wolverines used a 25-4 run to close out the first half to defeat the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers, 64-47.
Zak Irvin led Michigan with 14 points on Saturday in Crisler Center. The Wolverines (5-1) lost on Wednesday to South Carolina Gamecocks, 61-46. However, the Gamecocks were bigger and stronger than the Mountaineers were on Saturday.
“South Carolina is a lot bigger, and you’re looking over a different (sized) hand on (defense),” U-M coach John Beilein said in the post game press conference. “This team is quicker and not as strong or as long.”
Michigan buried seven three-pointers in the first half and finished 11-of-27 from behind the three-point line.
“It gives you a lot of confidence,” said U-M center Moritz Wagner, who scored 13 points and made a trio of threes. “I think you could see that Wednesday, too, that we just didn’t trust each other or ourselves and making shots for each other. We didn’t feel comfortable on the court with our offense.
“It’s definitely a good thing if you start off good from the three-point line or in general from the floor.”
The Mountaineers (1-6) jumped out to a 12-8 lead in the first five minutes, but Michigan finished the first half with a huge 25-4 run. Believe it or not, Mount St. Mary’s guard Junior Robinson is 5-foot-5, which makes him the shortest player in Division I basketball. Robinson cashed in 21 points for the Mountaineers.
“We knew they were scoring the ball too much at the beginning of the game, so we really wanted to lock down defensively, and I think we really did that,” U-M guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman said. “A 25-4 run, that’s a lot of momentum going into the second half that we had.”
Even tough Irvin led with 14 points, Derrick Walton Jr. chipped in 13 points and five assists. D.J. Wilton ripped down seven rebounds.
Michigan will battle against the Virginia Tech Hokies on Wednesday in Crisler Center at 7:00 PM ET. The game will be televised on ESPN2.