ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- In a game where many considered it a "tune-up" before the Big Ten season started, Michigan guard Derrick Walton Jr. talked about the importance of being in rhythm on Tuesday.
In rhythm the Wolverines (10-3) were on Wednesday night, especially from the three-point line in its 96-60 victory over Bryant at the Crisler Center.
U-M kept its peddle down in the second half and didn't look back as it finished its third-straight blowout victory over the hapless Bulldogs (2-10), who started strong in the first half, but could not keep up with the hot shooting the Wolverines showed throughout the game.
First half three-point shooting was the story of the game as U-M finished the half shooting 12-20 from beyond the arc, good for 60%. Duncan Robinson once again proved how lethal he can be from the three-point line as he found multiple open shots for easy buckets and shot 57% from three to finish the half. Robinson finished the night with 12 points, three rebounds and six assists.
The Wolverines broke the program's single-game record for most three-pointers made with 17 as the clock wound down in the final seconds of the game.
U-M forward Zak Irvin, whose had a difficult time finding his shot as of late, got into the action adding 16 points of his own, six of those points coming off three-pointers, he also contributed six rebounds as well.
"He's been shooting basically the same way he just hasn't been making them," U-M head coach John Beilein said after the game. "Even though I looked at his stats I remember Zack Novak, Stu Douglass, Tim Hardaway, for some reason 1-17 comes out of my mind. It just wasn't at the start of the year or near the start of the year, it was in the middle of the Big Ten season. You just have to work through it, you get the yips a little bit and it just isn't the same. Volume builds confidence. He went in on his own the other day and took 600 threes and made 400 with a gun... That volume will build a lot of confidence."
U-M guard Caris LeVert once again led the team in scoring, finishing the night with 19 points, five rebounds and eight assists. The Wolverines finished the night shooting just under 60% from the floor and just under 50% from the three-point line.
Bryan shot 50% from the field and the Wolverines struggled to contain Hunter Ware, who finished the game with 26 points.
"He's a great shooter off the dribble," Beilein said about Ware. "We tried to get into him, that was a lot of that high-percentage that they ended up getting. We were concerned at half time. If we don't shoot the way we do, and we had good looks obviously, if we don't shoot the way that we do, that's a close game. They did some more action, really passed the ball like hockey assists. They made a pass that leads to a pass, got us posted up a couple of times. We missed some things.
"I'm not happy with the defense today, not giving up that percentage."
The Wolverines open up its Big Ten schedule by traveling to Illinois Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 3:00 p.m. EST.