Morris' Double-Double Leads U-M

The Michigan basketball team improved to 10-2 on the season with an 87-71 win over Bryant University on Thursday night at Crisler Arena. Darius Morris finished with 26 points, 12 assists and six rebounds for Michigan in the win.

ANN ARBOR - Point guard Darius Morris finished with another strong performance as the Michigan basketball team improved to 10-2 on the season with an 87-71 win over Bryant University on Thursday night at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor.

Morris recorded 26 points, 12 assists and six rebounds, all team highs for Michigan, plus U-M got 20 points from Tim Hardaway Jr. and 14 from Evan Smotrycz. As a team the Wolverines connected on 16 three-pointers on a 50% shooting night.

Vlad Kondratyev finished with 20 points for Bryant going 5-of-6 from behind the arc.

Michigan built a 10-point lead over the 20 minutes of action after a sluggish start out of the gates. Smotrycz and Hardaway Jr. combined to score the first 11 points of the game for the Wolverines over the opening five minutes, but a hot shooting start for the Bulldogs helped BU to a 12-11 edge on an Alex Francis jumper with 14:05 in the half.

The teams traded baskets from then until the 9:43 mark when Zack Novak put Michigan up for good. Morris scored five of his 26 during the exchange and then Novak connected from deep to give Michigan a 19-17 lead. After a bucket each from Matt Vogrich and Jon Horford Michigan had a 23-17 lead.

Matthew Lee snapped the Michigan run at 8:15, but three straight made U-M triples, one each from Vogrich, Smotrycz and Stu Douglass gave Michigan it's first double-digit lead at 32-19 with 6:10 remaining.

Hardaway Jr. scored seven of Michigan's final 13 points of the half to help U-M enter the break with a 45-35 advantage.

The second half saw both teams continuing the hot shooting, but the Bulldogs never got closer than within eight in the second half. Kondratyev sunk back-to-back triples for Bryant four minutes into the half, but at 15:13 Morris struck from deep for Michigan to make it 60-46.

Near the middle of the period shooting for both teams began to trail off. The teams would match baskets setting the stage for Morris to take Michigan down the home stretch. Darius Morris scored 10 of the Wolverines final 13 points in the 16-point win.

With the win the Wolverines improve to 10-2 on the season before opening the Big 10 season on Tuesday night in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines kick-off conference play hosting No. 13-ranked Purdue at 2:00 p.m.

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