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Michigan 65, Tarleton State 54: Wolverines escape with sloppy win

This one will do nothing to inspire confidence.

NCAA Basketball: Tarleton State at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Juwan Howard and the Michigan Wolverines hosted the Tarleton State Texans looking to find answers to questions. Tonight’s game left them with even more questions than they entered with after playing asleep for most of the evening. Despite a turbulent outing, Michigan was able to pull out a victory, with a final score of 65-54 Wednesday night.

First Half

Turnovers, turnovers, and turnovers (note: this was from the last recap, but darn if it didn’t still apply). Michigan’s persistent problem of giving the ball away continued, as they turned the ball over 11 times in the first stanza. When the Wolverines were actually able to get a shot off instead of giving it away, things were going great — Michigan made 12 of its first 14 shots and were at 75 percent from the field at the half.

Freshman Frankie Collins, Moussa Diabate, and Caleb Houstan all played great from the floor—with Collins and Diabate justifying more playing time and Houstan showing flashes of his preseason hype. The talent was on full display in the first half.

Second Half

Michigan went on a run to start the second half and stretched the lead to 16 points. However, the Wolverines began turning the ball to keep the Texans in the game. Tarleton was able to cut the lead to just three points on two separate occasions. However, in the final four minutes Hunter Dickinson and Diabate were able to take over and put the game on ice. Diabate scored back-to-back dunks (both off great passes from Dickinson) late in the game to put Michigan out of reach, and some Eli Brooks free throws made a tight game a double-digit win at home.

However, the score does not reflect how poorly this game truly was. Davante Jones struggled mightily tonight, not scoring with only one assist and five turnovers. Michigan committed 21 total turnovers in the game; Tarleton scored 22 points off those turnovers. Jones’ play coupled with the Wolverines’ turnover issues have made easy games difficult, and difficult games impossible. The issue does not appear fixed six games in.

Final Stats

  • Brooks: 15 points, two rebounds, three assists
  • Diabate: 14 points, seven rebounds, one assist
  • Houstan: 14 points, 10 rebounds, one assist
  • Dickinson: 9 points, 10 rebounds, three assists

The Wolverines face a tough early season road test as they travel to Chapel Hill to play against North Carolina on Wednesday, December 1st at 9:15 p.m. in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.