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December 7, 2013
INSTANT RECAP: Michigan 107, Houston Baptist 53
It was the Mitch McGary show early in Michigan's 107-53 win over Houston Baptist. McGary scored U-M's first five points, notched two steals and set up Nik Stauskas on the break for a jam for two more in leading the break.
Defense was lacking, however, in the first five minutes. Big man Ricmonds Vilde cut strongly for four quick Baptist points, answered by a McGary lay-in and free trhow line jumper. HBU also hit two open jump shots, including an uncontested Tyler Russell three that tied it at nine in the early going.
The Huskies then packed in a zone defense, daring U-M to beat them outside. Freshman Derrick Walton Jr. busted a triple, followed by a Stauskas three that gave the Wolverines a 15-9 lead.
Russell's second triple, at 14:30, was part of a stretch in which HBU didn't miss a shot, opening 7-7. U-M kept pace in going 11-for-16 in the first nine minutes. The Wolverines shared the ball well in making the extra pass, going 5-for-8 from long range in opening a 29-19 lead at 10:31. The transition game was also working thanks to three steals.
Michigan then went to work inside and in transition. Big man Jon Horford followed a short turnaround jumper in the post with a nice lefty hook. Sophomore Caris LeVert took it inside for his first two points with a nice righty finish, and the Wolverines continued to pull away with their offense. HBU stuck around with some tough, contested jumpers combined with some wide open looks.
Stauskas led first half scorers with 17 points, going 5-for-7 from three-point range, Robinson III scored 14 on transition points and finishes, McGary and Irvin added seven each for a 60-34 halftime edge. The Wolverines notched 18 assists against only one turnover.
McGary started the second half with a lefty runner starting from the high post, then rebounded HBU's first miss and led the break, finding Walton in the corner for a triple. Stauskas hit three free throws after being fouled on a three, making it 68-34.
The only second half drama came when McGary provided a scare after going down hard at 16:44 fighting for a rebound, apparently suffering a leg injury. He skipped off the court, though, and played to the crowd before sitting.
The Wolverines led by 30, at which point reporters on press row started talking Big Ten football and arguing over which year "Hotstepper" was released (1994).
Robinson III's triple at 13:40 on a dish from Spike Albrecht made it 75-41 at 13:40. McGary was back in at that point, running the floor well. He took a rebound, led the break and set up Irvin from the corner for a triple to extend the lead to 37.
Irvin hit another triple to extend the lead to 81-43.
The Wolverines defended and rebounded better in the second half. McGary notched nine caroms and was all over the floor, leading the break and sometimes going coast to coast, driving and finishing. His three-point play gave the Wolverines their biggest lead to that point, 86-43 at 9:15. He led the break on the next trip and found Stauskas in the corner in transition for yet another three.
Jon Horford put the Wolverines over the century mark, making it 101-51 at 3:00 with a nice post move and reverse, and Beilein emptied the bench.
Stauskas led all scorers with 25 points on 6-of-9 triples, taking only 11 shots. Robinson finished with 17 points, four rebounds and four assists, McGary was 12, nine and six, Irvin and Walton notched 14 apieced and Horford registered six points and six rebounds.
The Wolverines improved to 6-3 overall and will face Arizona next Sunday at noon at Crisler Center.