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Michigan basketball falls to Mega Bemax 81-73 in second game of Spain trip

Despite 16 points from Jordan Poole, Michigan couldn’t overcome a double-digit second half deficit.

NCAA Basketball: Final Four Championship Game-Michigan vs Villanova Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

It took a flight to Spain to show Michigan basketball fans how far this team has to go to return to the Final Four next March.

Despite 16 points from Jordan Poole, the Wolverines fell to KK Mega Bemax of Serbia 81-73 Thursday at Pavello Esportiu Municipal near Barcelona.

Saddi Washington led the team Thursday as head coach John Beilein continues to recover from double bypass surgery.

The game consisted of four 10-minute quarters, including an additional 10-minute period with a reset score. Michigan triumphed in the extra period 18-16.

After a closely contested first half, Mega Bemax started running away, going on an 8-0 run to open the gap to 42-28 just after halftime. Brendan Quinn of The Athletic indicated the young team — replacing Moritz Wagner, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Duncan Robinson — began showing signs of frustration.

Four turnovers in four minutes ballooned the deficit to 46-28 before Poole responded with a transition dunk.

The dunk energized the group, as balanced scoring and Jon Teske’s defense squeezed the margin to 71-68 late. Free throws led to the final score.

Ignas Brazdeikis and Charles Matthews also hit double-digits, scoring 15 and 12 points, respectively. Zavier Simpson and Austin Davis chipped in eight each, while Isaiah Livers and Eli Brooks both added seven.

The always-loaded Kentucky Wildcats blew out Mega Bemax 100-64 earlier this month in the Bahamas.

Exhibition caveats aside, the youth movement in Ann Arbor — Matthews is the lone senior for 2018-2019 — requires some more molding.

Not like Beilein hasn’t done that before.