In the first game of the Legends Classic, the Michigan Wolverines battled some early hot-and-cold shooting and foul troubles from freshman Jett Howard, but ultimately finished with a comfortable 91-60 victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers.
It was the Panthers who charged out of the gate in this game, making five of their first eight shots including three 3-pointers to take an early 13-8 lead.
In contrast, the Wolverines looked streaky at best to start the game, missing four of their first five shots, then making four straight, before entering the second media timeout on a five-shot slump.
It was after this media timeout that Michigan appeared to truly wake up. Three straight lay-ups by Terrence Williams and Hunter Dickinson brought the game back to a toss-up, and from there it was off to the races for much of the remaining time in the half. By the time the Wolverines’ hot streak came to an end, they had jumped out to a 10-point lead.
Ultimately, both teams went on a cold streak to end the half, as neither side scored a single point between them in the final 2:30 of the half.
Statistically, it was Jett Howard once again having a hot start as he lead the Wolverines in scoring with 10 points at the halftime buzzer. Hunter Dickinson set the tone physically in the paint, notching six rebounds to get above 500 total in his career.
While Jett Howard started the second half on a frenzy — scoring back-to-back threes with one being a four-point play — his momentum came to a screeching halt after getting caught defensively with three quick fouls, sending him to the bench after just two minutes elapsed in the half.
In his stead, it was Terrence Williams II and Jaelin Llewellyn who took the reigns scoring wise, amassing five and four points, respectively, to maintain a steady 13-point lead heading into the first media timeout.
Once the Wolverines settled into a groove, they went all out, going on a 31-12 run between the first and third media timeouts that cemented an already likely outcome.
Despite recording just 19 minutes in the contest, Jett Howard ultimately finished as the team leader in points with 17. Dickinson and Williams meanwhile finished tied for the lead in rebounds.
The Wolverines will conclude the Legends Classic in the winner’s bracket, playing the winner of VCU and Arizona State at 9 p.m. Thursday to decide the Legends Classic champion.