The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played one game this week, and they won it. On Saturday (12/28/2013), they beat Holy Cross 88-66 in Crisler Arena. This was their final non-conference game, and it raises Michigan’s record to 8-4.
Holy Cross is a decent opponent, and this was a solid win. The score was close early, but Michigan never trailed. They led by 12 points (42-30) at halftime, but Holy Cross cut it to 9 (42-33) in the opening seconds of the 2nd half. Michigan pushed the lead back up to double digits on the next possession, and it never dipped below 10 again. The lead got as big as 28 points (79-51) with 5:06 left, and Michigan cruised to a 22-point win.
It’s stats time! Michigan shot well overall (33-for-59 = 55.9%), they shot 3-pointers pretty well (8-for-18 = 44.4%), and they shot free throws pretty well (14-for-19 = 73.7%). They won the rebounding battle (37-28), and they (barely) won the turnover battle (7-8).
Individually, 4 Michigan players hit double figures:
- Jon Horford – 10 points. Jon had a solid game, which is important since he’ll be playing a lot more. See below.
- Caris LeVert – 16 points. It was great to see Caris contribute after a few rough outings.
- Glenn Robinson III – 23 points. This is a new career-high for GR3. It was nice to see him have a couple good games back-to-back.
- Nik Stauskas – 16 points. Nik only hit 2 3-pointers (on 2 attempts), but he found other ways to score.
5 other players scored, but not in double figures:
- Spike Albrecht – 3 points. Spike only took 2 shots in 18 minutes.
- Zak Irvin – 8 points. Zak had a rough night shooting, going 2-for-6, all 3-pointers, along with a couple free throws.
- Sean Lonergan – 2 points. This was Sean’s first basket at Michigan.
- Jordan Morgan – 6 points. Jordan also had a solid game. See below.
- Derrick Walton Jr. – 4 points. Derrick is still playing like a true freshman.
Mitch McGary didn’t play, and he may be done for the season. His back injury isn’t getting any better, so he elected to have back surgery next week, and he might not play again this season. That’s why it’s so important for Jon Horford and Jordan Morgan to step up and play well in his absence. They did most of the heavy lifting during the regular season last year, before Mitch had his great showing in the Big Dance, and they need to do it again this year.
The non-conference season is over, and Michigan starts Big Ten play this week. They play two games: on Thursday (01/02/2014, 7:00 p.m. EST, BTN) they play at Minnesota, then on Sunday (01/05/2014, TBA, BTN) they play Northwestern in Crisler Arena. It’s always tough to win on the road in the Big Ten, and “The Barn” in Minneapolis is no exception. I consider the game at Minnesota to be a toss-up. Michigan should win at home vs. Northwestern.
Check back next week to see what happened, and why.