It didn’t start out pretty for Michigan basketball. In fact, Michigan versus UMass-Lowell would stay ugly for the entirety of the first half. This was the first game for the River Hawks as a Division 1 program, but the team more than matched up against #7 Michigan. UMass-Lowell held the Wolverines to 26% shooting from the field, and there wasn’t much to cheer about other than Derrick Walton Jr’s continued emergence as a defensive presence. The River Hawks kept the rebounding margin close, and kept the score tied despite sending Michigan to the line 15 times. As expected, the Wolverines pulled away in the 2nd half for a 69-42 victory.
A telling sign of Michigan’s ineptitude in the first half was the fact that the halftime show, the Russian Bar Trio, drew louder cheers from the crowd.
The Wolverines did nothing to calm their fans’ fears as the River Hawks opened up with a second half bucket to take the lead. The fear was stemmed after Michigan ripped off a 22-0 run.
Caris Levert was the catalyst throughout, showcasing his much improved ball handling and ability to get to the rim. His emergence as a legitimate three point threat opened up the offense for other Wolverines. Levert wasn’t on his own though, getting an and-one bucket on an assist from Spike Albrecht that consisted the loudest cheer of the night. With another superb passer in Walton, Albrecht held his own. He wasn’t sure who has the prettier passes, but he said “D-Walt has the no-look down.”
Glenn Robinson III continued to display his athleticism with a superb stat-line, scoring 15, and adding 7 rebounds. Robinson looked to have a transition dunk late in the second half, but Caris Levert took it himself to ensure he led all scorers for the night.
Not far behind Robinson was Irvin, scoring 10 while showing the defensive ability that coach John Beilien had praised in the preseason.
The game would end a 27 point victory, with the reserves finishing out the rest of the second half.
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- Michigan shot 6-23 from the field in the 1st half (1-9 from deep) and 14-30 in the 2nd half (4-9 from three)
- Caris LeVert logged 35 minutes of game action, by far the most of his career. Look for LeVert to emerge as one of Michigan’s top scorers.
- Jon Horford led the big men in minutes with 22 (to just 12 for Jordan Morgan) and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds in the process.
- At the half, Michigan had just two assists to five turnovers. In the 2nd half they flipped that to 11 assists and just two giveaways.
- UMass-Lowell went 11 minutes and 26 seconds in the 2nd half without a field goal
- The point guard rotation was mostly Derrick Walton, Jr., who played 27 minutes to Spike Albrecht’s 12.
- Freshman big man Mark Donnal was the only Wolverine not to suit up in this one, giving clear indication to his red shirt status.
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