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Michigan blows away Central Arkansas, 97-53

Moritz Wagner led the way for Michigan with 18 points and seven rebounds in the victory.

NCAA Basketball: Central Arkansas at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines returned to Crisler Arena on Tuesday night against the Central Arkansas Bears and won, 97-53. Moritz Wagner was a key factor for Michigan, as the big man logged 18 points and seven rebounds.

The Wolverines (8-3) had five double digit scorers in Wagner, Zak Irvin, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Duncan Robinson, and D.J. Wilson. Meanwhile, the Bears (1-9) had just two in Jordan Howard and Derreck Brooks.

“I was really proud of them,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “First of all, we had a really good practice yesterday. We shot the ball like that again yesterday. I think we’re at a confidence level with that, that (is a) little bit SMU, Marquette-like, that our confidence was back to make shots, to see each other, to trust each other.”

Michigan never trailed during the event, and started to pull away from Central Arkansas with 6:41 left in the first half, which was when Xavier Simpson hit a three-point jumper to put the Wolverines ahead, 33-11.

The Wolverines eventually grabbed a 49-20 lead at halftime and were obviously well on their way to a victory.

Central Arkansas was led by Howard, who scored 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting form the field. He added two rebounds and one assist. Brooks chipped in with 12 points, nine rebounds, and one assist.

Every player, except Fred Wright-Jones and Mark Donnal, filled up the cup against the Bears. While Wagner led Michigan in scoring, Irvin was right being with 16 points, six rebounds, and three assists.

“We knew going into the game that they were going to play a matchup 2-3 zone, so there was gonna be a lot of opportunities to be able to knock down our three-pointers,” Irvin said. “Most of them were pretty open … so we were just taking normal shots we usually have.”

Michigan shot 32-for-62 (52 percent) from the field and 19-for-45 (42 percent) from three-point range. The Wolverines made 14-of-18 free throws and only turned the ball over six times.

All in all, the 97-53 win was an outstanding showing for the Maize and Blue.

The next test for Michigan will be against the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks (1-9) on December 17th at 3:00 PM ET. The game will be played at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.