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Arizona’s defense stifles Michigan basketball for second loss of the year

The Wolverines struggled overall in this one.

NCAA Basketball: Roman Main Event Championship Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Juwan Howard and the Michigan Wolverines came to the Roman Main Event in Las Vegas seeking a bit of redemption from their loss earlier in the week to Seton Hall. They got a win in the early hours of Saturday morning against UNLV in the first game of the event, advancing to the finals against an undefeated Arizona Wildcats team that took down Wichita State in overtime that same night.

Unfortunately for Michigan, that game against UNLV was the only win of the weekend, as the Wildcats easily handled the Wolverines 80-62 Sunday night.

First Half

Turnovers, turnovers and turnovers. That was a big problem for Michigan in the first four games of the year, and it continued to be a major issue in the first half against Arizona. The Wolverines turned it over 10 times in the first half, with eight of Arizona’s 37 first-half points coming of turnovers from Michigan.

As a team, the Wolverines shot 13-of-30 from the field in the first half, but was 0-of-7 from beyond the arc. Arizona didn’t do much better, only making 2-of-13 from its threes, but it limited its turnovers to only three in the first half, had more second-chance points (seven to four) and dominated in the paint with 26 points.

After the first 20 minutes, Eli Brooks lead the team in points with seven. He also had four boards and one assist.

Second Half

You can pretty much CTRL + C, CTRL + V the first half and put it down here. It wasn’t any better for the Wolverines in the second half. In fact, it was worse.

Things went south for Michigan real quick. A Dickinson turnover 1:19 into the second half lead to an easy layup for Arizona’s Dalen Terry. Brandon Johns Jr. attempted a layup after that but got blocked, which lead to a quick transition for the Wildcats, only to get fouled by Caleb Houston. The Wildcats made both free throws, and went 10-of-12 from the charity stripe on the night.

The story of the game was Arizona’s defense, which stifled Michigan’s offensive attack all night long. The Wolverines didn’t have many answers Sunday evening in that regard, or any regard really. It was a rough go from the get-go.

Final Stats

Brooks: 14 points, five rebounds, two assists

Dickinson: 11 points, seven rebounds, two steals

Johns Jr.: seven points, one rebounds

Houstan: six points, two steals, one assist

The Wolverines come back to Ann Arbor to play against Tarleton State (1-3) Wednesday at 7 p.m. That game will be aired on Big Ten Network.