ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- It started ugly and only got worse but Michigan (3-0) regrouped in the second half to squeak by the University of Detroit Mercy (1-2) 71-62 Thursday night at Crisler Center.
Led by junior Caris LeVert’s 21-points, 17 of which came in the second half, Michigan outscored Detroit by 10 over the final 20-minutes after trailing 28-27 at the break.
For Detroit, son of former Michigan great Juwan Howard, Juwan Howard Jr., led the Titans in scoring with 24-points on 9-of-23 shooting from the field.
A first half marred by missed jumpers and errant passes; the Wolverines managed just 3-of-12 makes from three-point land, turning the ball over six times. Michigan accounted for six turnovers the entire game in Monday’s win over Bucknell.
In the second half, Michigan leaned on their veterans once again in crunch time as Caris LeVert took the Wolverines on a 13-0 run on his own to open up a nine-point advantage, 43-34.
But Detroit would hang tough.
A free throw by Howard Jr. tying the game once again at 52 with 5:38 to go in regulation, Michigan would then go on the run that would put this game away.
LeVert started things off with a made free throw, then finding Irvin alone for a three ball. Walton Jr. then getting into the act with a nifty lay-in.
After two more LeVert free throws, Walton Jr. found Irvin wide open in front of the Michigan bench, promptly knocking down a three to make it 63-52, an 11-0 run for the Wolverines.
Junior Spike Albrecht provided the proverbial dagger in this one, putting Michigan up 68-53 with a three-pointer, just 1:38 remaining.
The difference in the game came beyond the arc, Michigan hitting just 3-of-12 attempts in the first half, finishing the game 6-for-12.
Both teams finished with 14 assists to 11 turnovers, Michigan actually out rebounding Detroit 37-25.
Detroit now heads home to welcome in South Alabama Saturday afternoon. Michigan hits the road for Brooklyn to continue the Legends Classic with a Monday night match-up with Oregon (2-0) at 9:30 p.m./est.