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Michigan downs Armstrong State in exhibition game, 77-49

Zak Irvin logged 15 points, four rebounds, and four assists in Michigan’s first win this season.

Dustin Johnston

Michigan opened the 2016-17 basketball season with a 77-49 win over Armstrong State, a Division II program, in an exhibition matchup.

The Wolverines were led by Zak Irvin, who scored 15 points, and added four rebounds and four assists in the victory.

Derrick Walton Jr., Sean Lonergan, Irvin, Duncan Robinson and Moritz Wagner were called on to start the game. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman was slated to start at shooting guard, but went down with a right ankle injury in practice on Thursday.

D.J. Wilson knocked down the first three-pointer for Michigan with 1:48 left in the first half. Besides the struggle from deep, the Wolverines looked excellent.

The second half was an ugly start for Michigan, who allowed Armstrong State to jump out to a 13-7 run. After the Michigan lead shortened to nine points with 15:38 left in the second half, the Wolverines gathered themselves and made a huge push. Wagner contributed to the 13-0 scoring outburst with a three-pointer with 13:19 on the clock. With 8:28 left, Armstrong State finally stopped the run on a made jumper by Montrel Goldston.

Michigan got a freshman connection with 1:32 left in the game as Xavier Simpson hit Ibi Watson for a slam dunk.

Wagner logged 15 points and two rebounds for Michigan. The big-man shot 7-for-9 from the field and 1-for-1 from three-point range. Walton Jr. added 12 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

As for Armstrong State, the team was led by K.J. James with 16 points, seven rebounds and two assists. The guard transferred from High Point University to Armstrong State in mid-May.

D.J. Wilson was the surprise star of the game. The sixth-man tallied 10 points, nine rebounds and one assists across 24 minutes of play.

The Wolverines shot 32-for-63 (50.8 percent) from the field and 6-for-19 (31.6 percent) from downtown. Michigan knocked down 7-of-11 free throws in the 77-49 win.