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August 20, 2014

Donnal picks up where Doyle left off in U-M win

Michigan improved to 3-0 on its Italy trip following a 116-52 win over Petrarca Padova, a team that was supposed to be higher on the level of competition scale but provided little resistance after the first quarter. Redshirt freshman big man Mark Donnal scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in victory, a night after freshman Ricky Doyle put up 15 points and 14 caroms.

U-M scored 116 points on 89 possessions and finally pulled away. They led 32-21 after the first quarter thanks to freshman wing Aubrey Dawkins (14 points, 6-for-9 FG, 2-for-2 three-point FG) and held Padova to 16, second half points.

"Our defense exceeded what I thought we could do today," head coach John Beilein said. "We started slow, but as the game went on they were very good at their dribble-drive attack. We made it difficult for them to get the ball in the paint and then they had to rely on three-point shooting and we guarded that as well. The defense then became our offense."

The Wolverines made 39 percent of their triples, led by junior guard Caris LeVert's 3-for-4 and despite 0-for-5 from sophomore point guard Derrick Walton, Jr. (3-for-10 overall). Sophomore Zak Irvin (22 points, 9-for-16 FG) made only two of his six, three-point attempts after making nine of 10 in his first two games.

Donnal, meanwhile, owned the paint. He notched seven offensive rebounds (11 total) and scored 20 points. LeVert added 17 and eight rebounds, Doyle nine points and eight rebounds.

"We continue to show Mark and Ricky film so that they can get better," Beilein said. "I really don't care what each one does; I care what they do collectively. Tonight was 29 points and almost 20 rebounds between the two of them. It would be too much to think about getting 20 and 20 from them, but if we needed to get double-figures, that's a heck of a big man."

Donnal was the better of the two today after Doyle stood out in games one and two.

"It was definitely a good game for me coming off of yesterday's game," he said. "Yesterday I was in foul trouble, so this got my confidence up a little bit and I was pretty happy with my performance. My teammates found me open and I got some easy buckets.

"I was just getting past the defense in offensive transition. Spike Albrecht and Andrew Dakich were able to find me."

Freshman Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman came back to Earth a bit after two stellar games with six points and three assists on 2-for-7 shooting, while freshman Kam Chatman notched seven points and four assists.

The Wolverines notched 25 assists total against only eight turnovers.

"We've had three great games," Irvin said. "Each game we're getting better. You can see it when we watch film - that defensively we're getting better. Our goal was to hold teams under 60 points and we were able to do that again tonight; then scoring 100 points is something special."

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