U-M starts fast, survives in Howard debut
Written by Matt Pargoff   

 

The Wolverines’ first game under the direction under Juwan Howard went from a walk in the park to a more memorable near miss. Tense moments toward the end aside, Michigan and its new head coach walked out with 79-71 victory over Appalachian State.

Securing a double-digit advantage less than six minutes into the game, U-M appeared headed to a blowout win over the Mountaineers, eventually building that lead to as many as 30 points in the second half. With that commanding lead and just 13 minutes remaining, the Wolverines went into an offensive drought, while also coming apart on defense.

Over a 10-minute stretch, Michigan was outscored 27-3, including an 18-0 run by Appalachian State.

Exacerbated by five straight missed free throws, including the front end of two one-and-one opportunities, U-M saw its lead shrink to as few as four points. In the closing minute though, Eli Brooks stepped up at the line to make five straight, with Zavier Simpson adding two, helping the Wolverines to narrowly avert disaster.

In a career game for Brooks, he had 24 points to lead the Wolverines, adding three assists. Jon Teske started the game strong with a first half double-double, finishing with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Isaiah Livers added 14 points, but also turned the ball over five times.

The Wolverines as a whole struggled with giving the ball away, committing 17 turnovers as a team. Simpson accounted for six of those mistakes, while adding eight rebounds, six points and a team best six assists.

Getting a chance to digest and learn from the opening game under a new head coach, the Wolverines get a full week before they take to the court again. Michigan will return to action on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m. eastern, playing host to Creighton, airing on FS1.


 
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