Michigan didn't play well early in the first half of Tuesday night's 73-41 win over Western Michigan, turning it over on three of its first few possessions. A 15-2 run late in the half behind some strong play from sophomore point guard Trey Burke helped the Wolverines pull away, regardless.
Shots weren't falling early, either. The Wolverines missed their first four triples before Burke hit a pull-up off a screen to put U-M up 18-11 - freshman Nik Stauskas (four first half points) hit a ridiculous triple with a hand in his face late, while frosh Caris LeVert scored his first three points on a triple from the top in between.
Junior Tim Hardaway Jr. forced the action a bit in the first half, finishing 2-for-7 from the floor in 16 minutes. Glenn Robinson III scored two points on a putback, but was ice cold outside (0-for-3 on jumpers), while bigs Jordan Morgan and Mitch McGary scored in transition, on pick and rolls and on post moves for six and four points, respectively. Redshirt sophomore Jon Horford was active in his four minutes, notching two rebounds, an offensive tapout and a blocked shot.
The Wolverines lost WMU cutters a few times and were slow to the three-point shooters on a few other occasions in the first half, but the Broncos couldn't capitalize. They made only one of nine triples in shooting 36.4 percent from the floor. They scored the last four points of the half, however, to go in down 35-21.
Western Michigan opened with a long, Austin Richie triple to cut it to 11, and Hardaway turned it over on Michigan's first possession. Stauskas answered with a long triple the next time down to push the lead back to 14.
Western hung around, but Stauskas hit another triple off the dribble to put the Wolverines up 45-28, and Robinson III converted a three-point play on a drive and dish from Burke to put the Wolverines up 20. Burke converted his own and-one on a short runner off the glass to make it 51-28 and put the game all but out of reach.
Morgan struggled to finish inside in the second half, missing a couple of point blank looks (albeit with a body on him). Hardaway never did find his groove, finishing three of 10 from the floor for nine points.
LeVert saw extensive time in the second half, though he seemed a half step slow on his defensive rotations (one which was close to being a charge). He was active, though, and disruptive at times with his length. He watched a three go half way down before rimming out.
Freshman Spike Albrecht ran the point for five minutes in the second half and found Robinson backdoor for a reverse lay-up, then got out of a predicament in the paint by finishing and up and under on another possession. Stauskas crossed over and found McGary for a slam off the dribble for one of many exclamation points, that one putting U-M up 25.
Burke, meanwhile, continued to kill it off the dribble drive, finding his bigs for easy finishes. He finished with 20 points and seven assists.
McGary finished with 10 points and three rebounds, Stauskas with 11 points and four rebounds and Morgan eight points and eight caroms for the 8-0 Wolverines.