Michigan basketball continued their stretch of early season dominance with an 80-67 win over a game Arkansas Razorbacks team on Saturday afternoon. With the win Michigan improves to 9-0 in the early going and Arkansas slips to 4-4.
3 Stars of the Game
Jordan Morgan – Morgan ripped off his 2nd double-double in 3 games and is on one of the better roles of his career right now. Over the last 3 games he has scored 30 points and hauled in 28 rebounds. He started the game off quick with 8 early points to get Michigan going and to help avoid another early ambush from Arkansas. 6 of J-Mo’s 10 boards came on the offensive end.
Glenn Robinson III led the Wolverines with 17 points. The understated Robinson added 6 boards (3 offensive), 1 steal, was 7-11 from the field and 2-3 from long distance. Just when the opposition thinks they have Michigan snuffed out on a possession, Robinson seems to have a knack for making a big play.
Trey Burke had to maintain his poise as the Razorbacks bring 40 minutes of spirited defense. Burke turned the ball over just 3 times against steady waves of pressure. He still managed to stuff the stat sheet with 16 points, 7 assists, and 4 boards. For good measure, Burke threw in a steal and a block as he continues the best collegiate point guard play anywhere in America.
3 Key Stats
Overall, Michigan turned the ball over 12 times, which sounds like a lot until you consider that Arkansas forces their opponents into 18 errors/game. At the half Michigan had 8 turnovers. Burke really settled things down as Michigan only gave it away 4 times in the 2nd half.
42-26. Those numbers represent Michigan’s advantage on the glass this afternoon. Not only that, but Michigan hammered Mike Anderson’s team on the offensive boards, 18-10.
10-17 is what Arkansas shot on the day from 3-point range. This is an area where the Razorbacks generally struggle. To be that hot from distance and still get dropped by 13 points speaks volumes to Michigan’s dominance.
How the game was won
Michigan was in firm control of this game from the opening tip until Arkansas put together a quick comeback attempt midway through the 2nd half. With 10:05 to go, a Hunter Mickelson bucket pulled the Razorbacks to within 2 at 52-50.
Trey Burke, in full-on leadership mode, quickly answered with a layup, which helped Michigan close the game on a 28-17 run.
Michigan has had an uncanny ability to close out games in the early part of the season. They were able to put Pitt away at the end in New York City, and did the same thing, with a little more gusto today against Arkansas.
What is really separating Michigan from the pack is their completely unselfish nature on the court. 5 more players scored in double-digits today as Tim Hardaway, Jr. had 14 and Nik Stauskas 12. Hardaway added 9 boards of his own, barely missing out on a double-double.
News and Notes
Michigan had a fantastic 9-man rotation rolling all afternoon. Spike Albrecht was stellar in the backup point guard role. He played 8 turnover-free minutes, scoring 3 points and adding an assist.
Jon Horford played probably his best basketball of the season today. In 10 minutes of play, Horford pulled down 4 boards and blocked 3 shots.
Mitch McGary continues to get better and better with each and every game. The player known by his teammates as “Monster”, who they say wakes up in the morning with 12 rebounds, is becoming a huge asset for John Beilein’s team. McGary had 6 points, 5 boards, and a block, and also set a road-grading pick at the top of the 3-point line.
Coming into the game, Arkansas was getting to the free throw line 26 times/game. Today, they went just 3-4, something Coach Anderson was less than thrilled about in his postgame presser. Credit Michigan with playing a disciplined game against a team whose single purpose it is to create havoc.
Stauskas shot 2-5 from 3-point range today, which was just the 2nd game all year where he shot less than 50% from deep. To be fair, a few of the attempts were rushed shots at the end of the shot clock.
During a timeout in the game against Western Michigan, they ran a get to know Mitch McGary segment on the scoreboard. Part of that included McGary singing a little Justin Bieber for the crowd. After the game, Jordan Morgan and Trey Burke told us they had taken McGary’s Midwest card. Find out what McGary did in the Arkansas game to earn his card back.
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