After a rough week saw a pair of top-25 matchups come just short, the Michigan Wolverines turned their fortunes around to start the Big Ten season with a lopsided 90-75 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers Thursday evening.
The Wolverines started hot and never looked back, while the Golden Gophers could muster just one significant scoring run in the game and only came as close as a 12 point deficit following the early build up.
The Wolverines got out to a hot start in this one, missing just two of their first ten shots and going 5-for-5 on three point attempts heading into the halfway point of the first half. In contrast, while the Golden Gophers couldn’t string together consecutive makes, they did string together a four-shot miss streak — finishing with a 5-for-13 shot line in the same amount of time.
Though Michigan cooled off a tad following the second media timeout, Minnesota’s shooting didn’t improve to match the moment until almost 6 minutes of game time later, by which point the margin had already swelled a 20-point margin in favor of the Wolverines.
Once the Golden Gophers got hot however, the Wolverines seemed temporarily powerless to stop it, as Minnesota went on a lightning-fast 14-3 run to cut the lead to 12. The hot streak came to a screeching halt following the final media timeout though, and ultimately Michigan headed to the locker room with a 16-point lead.
Statistically, Hunter Dickinson led the Wolverines with 13 points on 4-for-6 shooting, while Terrence Williams II led the team with a whopping seven first-half rebounds.
The start of the second half saw little change in the big picture, with the margin steadily creeping back to over 20 points in favor of the Wolverines. Though the Golden Gophers went a respectable 3-for-4 in the first five minutes, Michigan fired off nine shots in the same time-frame, making six.
After a five minute stretch saw the lead stay steady at 23, Michigan saw an explosion of offense headed into the home stretch — going on a 14-to-2 scoring run to push their lead over 30 points. The Golden Gophers didn’t take it laying down however, as they once again came alive and went on a 15-4 run of their own to cut the leak back to 17 points headed into the final three minutes.
Dickinson finished as the game leader with 19 points, while Williams II remained the leader in rebounds despite adding just one to his total in the second half.
Michigan will return to Crisler Center on Saturday, Dec. 17, to play the Lipscomb Bisons at 4 p.m.