Michigan kicked off the NIT Season Tip-Off on Monday night with a 91-54 route of IUPUI. The Wolverines got off to a slow start, leading just 23-22 ten minutes into the game. But from there, Michigan began to pull away and took a 45-31 lead into the half. With the Jaguars trying to set up the last shot of the half and take some momentum into the locker room, Trey Burke stole the ball near midcourt, drove to the basket and picked up a foul. He converted both free throws to extend Michigan’s lead and keep the momentum in Michigan’s favor.
The second half was all Michigan as Glen Robinson III hit a three and Burke and Jordan Morgan added layups, and just like that, Michigan was up 21. The rest of the game saw Michigan continue to build its lead even when the starters were pulled with a few minutes to play.
Burke led all scorers with 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-7 from three-point range. He also dished out a career high nine assists. Robinson had the best game of his young career, pouring in 21 points while shooting 8-of-9 and 3-of-3 from downtown. Nik Stauskas added 11 points off the bench, hitting 3-of-4 threes, while Morgan and Tim Hardaway Jr each scored 10.
Mitch McGary had a quiet night with just two points in 11 minutes of action, though he did pull in five rebounds. Jon Horford showed a flash of his ability when he got the ball near the foul line with his back to the basket, spun, took a dribble, and slammed it home while getting fouled. Spike Albrecht filled in nicely for Burke, scoring six in six minutes.
It was a game Michigan was supposed to win, and the Wolverines did just that. So far, Michigan has scored more than 90 points in each of its first two games, something it didn’t do all season last season. It was also the first time the Wolverines have had back-to-back 90-plus point games since the 2000 season.
The most apparent and optimistic aspect so far has been the number of scoring options Michigan has. On any given night, a different guy could step up. On Friday it was Hardaway. Tonight it was Robinson. Burke has been consistent in both.
Robinson is now 13-of-16 from the floor through two games and 3-of-3 from three. He’s also averaging seven rebounds. Stauskas is 4-of-6 from three through two games and if he can continue to provide a deadly shooting touch, Michigan will be very tough to defend.
If there’s one thing to gripe about it is turnovers. Michigan committed 13 tonight, including three each by Burke and Robinson. But Burke’s nine assists and the team’s 18 assists more than made up for the sloppy ball handling.
As a team, Michigan shot 60 percent from the field and 62 percent from three. Through two games, the Wolverines are shooting 59 percent overall and 62.5 percent from behind the arc.
Michigan returns to action at 8pm EST on Tuesday night at Crisler Center against Cleveland State. The Vikings beat Bowling Green 79-73 in overtime. The winner of Tuesday’s game will advance to the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off next week at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
|Final Game Stats|
|01||Glenn Robinson III*||8-9||3-3||2-4||2||4||6||2||21||1||3||0||0||32|
|10||Tim Hardaway Jr*||3-5||0-0||4-6||0||7||7||1||10||2||1||1||0||30|