The efficiency that eluded the Wolverines in their exhibition contest against Saginaw Valley State one week ago was presented and accounted for Saturday evening versus South Carolina Upstate. Michigan came roaring out of the Crisler Arena blocks, jumping out to a 21-5 lead eight minutes into the contest. Tim Hardaway Jr. nailed three triples and 11 points to pace the outburst, while Darius Morris chipped in with eight. That was a sign of things to come he rest of the night.
The starting backcourt added two points apiece to their tallies before the break and received some long range assistance in the form of triples from Matt Vogrich, Zack Novak, and Stu Douglass. When the dust settled the Maize & Blue had doubled up their overmatched opponents 36-18.
South Carolina Upstate opened up the second half with four straight points, but then the dynamic duo went to work again. Morris found Hardaway Jr. for a fast break dunk to key a 6-0 run during which the freshman shooting guard accounted for every point. The spurt pushed the lead to 20 (42-22) with 13:25 to go.
Morris then took the baton from his backcourt mate, scoring seven more points during a 24-13 run that closed out the game and gave Michigan the 66-35 victory.
Hardaway Jr. and Morris were the only players in the game to reach double figures, notching 19 and 17 respectively. On the night the Wolverines shot 22/50 (44%) from the field, 7/22 (31.8%) from three, 15/21 (71.4%) from the line, and won the rebounding battle 45-32. For more on the game, click the following links: Boxscore, Notes.
Next up for the Maize & Blue is a home match up Thursday night against Bowling Green in the first round of the Legends Classic. Tipoff is slated for 7pm EST.