Michigan Basketball received a stiffer than expected test at Bradley on Saturday afternoon, but pulled out a 74-66 victory. Nik Stauskas paced the Wolverines with a career-high 22 points. With the win Michigan improves to 7-0 and will now head home for three consecutive games at Crisler.
3 Stars of the Game
1. Nik Stauskas was sensational. As mentioned above, he scored a career-high 22 points. He was 8-15 from the field and 4-5 from beyond the arc to run his absurd three-point shooting percentage to 62% (18-29) on the season. Stauskas also had 3 rebounds, 2 steals and an assist.
2. Jordan Morgan notched a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. He also had 2 assists and a steal.
3. Trey Burke was just 1-5 from three-point range, but finished the game with 16 points and 5 assists.
3 Key Plays
1. With 10:27 remaining to play, Michigan was leading 51-43 and Bradley was looking to slice that lead down to 6 or perhaps 5 points. Tim Hardaway Jr. forced a turnover that led to a fast break, which was culminated by a thunderous dunk from Hardaway Jr. That put the Wolverines up by 10 and they were finally able to stretch out their lead.
2. Nik Stauskas buried his 4th triple of the game with 8:02 to play and Michigan took a 60-46 lead. Bradley countered with a run to make it close at the end, but that three from Stauskas proved to be critical and gave Michigan enough of a lead to weather Bradley’s ensuing run.
3. With 9 minutes left in the first half, Max Bielfeldt drew a charge on Will Egolf. That was Egolf’s second fould and he would spend the rest of the game mired in foul trouble. That’s significant because Egolf is Bradley’s best three-point shooter and leading rebounder. He had knocked down to quick triples and looked like he was going to be a handful for the Wolverines all afternoon. Instead, the foul trouble made him a non factor.
Stat of the Game
The Wolverines pulled down 12 offensive rebounds, including 4 from Jordan Morgan.
In what should be a surprise to no one, Nik Stauskas was inserted into the starting line up and made the fist of what will be many starts in his career.
Caris LeVert logged the first minutes of his Michigan career. He ended up with 1 rebound and 1 assist in the game.
Stauskas continues to impress, not only with his three-point shooting, but also with his ability to get to the rim and finish.
The Wolverines were 7-15 (46.7%) from three-point range.
Michigan had a 60-46 lead with 8 minutes to play. Bradley went on a 19-10 run to cut the lead to 70-65.
Glenn Robinson III scored 8 of Michigan’s first 10 points.
Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke each had 5 turnovers. Hardaway Jr. was stripped in the lane several times which is something we saw a lot last year, but had not seen much so far this season.
Glenn Robinson III scored 13 points on 4-6 shooting. He also had 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
What it means
Michigan did what they had to do and that was get a win. They faced some adversity on the road and were able to rise above it and remain undefeated. There are certainly lessons to be learned from this game. The 13 turnovers are more than John Beilein would like to have. Additionally after expanding their to to 14 with 8 minutes to play, Michigan didn’t pull away from Bradley. Instead the Braves mounted a fierce rally that made things closer than they should have been at the end.
Michigan will host Western Michigan on Tuesday, tip is set for 8:30pm.
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