Michigan Tops Bucknell, 77-53

Led by reserve senior Max Bielfeldt's career-high 18-points, U-M beats Bucknell 77-53.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Led by reserve senior Max Bielfeldt’s career-high 18-points, Michigan jumped out to a huge lead early – and never relented – making easy work of Bucknell 77-53 Monday night in the opening round of the 2014 Progressive Legends Classic.

“Pleased that were able to get away with a win,” U-M coach John Beilein said. “And pleased to get a guy like Max Beilfeldt the opportunity that he had. Get our veterans who have not had big minutes over time – minutes.”

Bielfeldt, who is coming off an off-season hip surgery, has rarely played in his four years at U-M. However, against the Bucknell he was able to provide the Wolverines with a much needed spark off the bench. Along with his 18-points, he shot 7-of-9 from the floor, including 3-of-3 from three-point range. His previous career-high was four points.

“Coach Beilein, I’ll let him do the talking for me,” Bielfeldt said. “I think he’s seen what I’ve done in practice and stuff and to finally be able to carry that over to a game situation is pretty exciting.”

Michigan (2-0) was led by Zak Irvin’s game-high 23-points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-5 from three and five rebounds. Irvin now has scored over 20-points in U-M’s first two contests.

“We definitely wanted to make that it a priority and bring a lot of energy,” Irvin said. “I think we were able to do that against Bucknell in the first four minutes. We were just able to keep it rolling the whole game.”

Michigan started the game off with a 24-7 run. And made 5-of-11 first-half 3-pointers to extend its lead to 48-19 at the half. U-M shot 54.5 percent from the field in the first half compared to Bucknell’s 31.8.

Sophomore Derrick Walton Jr. added 15 points and led the Wolverines with eight rebounds.

“He has that high care level to get rebounds,” Beilein said of Walton. “So you’re going to see him be a leading rebounder many times. While the other guys are maybe just blocking out people.”

Michigan outrebounded Bucknell 37-29.

Star guard Caris LeVert struggled with his shot all night, shooting 2-of-11 – including 0-of-3 from three – finishing with six points, six rebounds and six assists.

Bucknell (1-1) guard Chris Hass led the Bison with 21-points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 5-of-8 from three-point-range.

U-M shot 29-of-63 for the game at 46.0 percent. While Bucknell finished 19-of-48 for 39.6 percent.

Detroit Lions star defensive end Ndamukong Suh was in attendance, and is the cousin of U-M freshman Kameron Chatman.

Michigan will next play host to Detroit on Thursday at 6.pm. at the Crisler center.

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