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October 29, 2013

INSTANT RECAP: U-M 117, Concordia 44

Michigan's talent was evident from the opening tip of a 117-44 win over Concordia University, a game that was never in doubt. The Wolverines jumped to a 14-6 lead on the strength of solid outside shooting and defense and cruised to a big win.

The Wolverines started sophomore Spike Albrecht at point guard, sophomore Nik Stauskas at shooting guard, sophomore Glenn Robinsoin III on the wing, fifth-year senior Jordan Morgan at forward and redshirt junior Jon Horford at center. The long lineup forced a handful of early turnovers that led to points on the other end. Stauskas and sophomore Caris LeVert hit early triples, while Robinson nailed a jumper and a pair of free throws to create separation.

Concordia worked pick and roll to score a few inside with time winding down, but was in early foul trouble. Michigan was in the bonus at 11:30 and had yet to pick up a foul of its own.

A LeVert drive and finish gave Michigan its first double digit lead, 19-9 at 10:50. Stauskas continued to impress with a pump-fake, sidestep triple that made it 24-9.

Michigan's defense swarmed the much less talented Cardinals, showing a willingness to defend from the get-go. The Wolverines forced two shot clock violations and racked up eight first half steals.

Freshman point guard Derrick Walton Jr. started a bit slowly, turning it over while bringing it up the floor, but then he got hot. He hit a wide open triple, picked point guard Makenzi Kurvits-Statum's pocket and finished, threw a beautiful no-look pass to Morgan for a slam in transition and another to LeVert for a transition dunk that made it 46-14 at 4:30.

Walton showed a little bounce in his step and let out a howl after the second one.

Robinson III, meanwhile, dished four first-half assists, two off the dribble in showing off his improved ball handling skills. The half ended 60-19. Stauskas and LeVert scored 12 each, while Robinson III led the way with 13 points and four assists. The Wolverines shot an incredible 22 of 27 from the floor.

SECOND HALF

Stauskas picked up where he left off, making two free throws and driving the lane and scoring for the first 12 points of the half, four on Robinson III monster jams.

A triple from the corner that made it 75-21 epitomized the effort. Stauskas drove the lane, found LeVert at the three-point line - then LeVert made the extra pass to Walton in the corner for a triple. Robinson III then tripled from the other corner the next time down the floor.

From there it was … well, an exhibition. Robinson III hit three triples and notched a few finishes. He had 30 points at the 11:18 mark, when the Wolverines led 92 to 29. Robinson then pulled up from 25 in transition, Irvin followed with his own triple and the Wolverines were two shy of the century mark with 10 to play.

Stauskas got them there with an and-one finish in transition.

The rest was gravy on top of gravy. Freshman Mark Donnal added a ladle full when he entered at 4:30 and hit his first shot, a 17-footer.

The Wolverines shared the ball well, finishing with 26 assists, and played solid team defense throughout.

Robinson III led all scorers with 33 points, going 12-for-15 from the floor and 4-for-6 from long range. Stauskas added 23 on 7-for-8 shooting and 7-for-7 free throws, LeVert 16 (7-for-8), Morgan 10 points and seven rebounds, Irvin and Walton 10 each and Jon Horford four points and 12 rebounds.


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