AUBURN HILLS (WWJ/AP) – The Wolverines had three players in double digits as No. 20 Michigan beats the Oakland Grizzlies 90-80 on Saturday.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half, Evan Smotrycz had a career-high 20 points along with nine rebounds, and freshman Trey Burke had 20 points and nine assists.
It was Michigan’s highest-scoring game in more than two years.
“Tim (Hardaway) had a rough first half … (he was) smoking the second half,” said head coach John Beilein.
The Wolverines (7-2) shot 70 percent from the field in the second half, and they finished 15 of 28 from 3-point range.
“We made some plays that eighth graders make,” said Beilein about first half play, but added that the half-time talk included telling players that,”we’re going to play Michigan basketball the second half.”
Reggie Hamilton scored 28 points for the Golden Grizzlies (6-4).
Michigan shot 57 percent for the game.
It was the highest-scoring game for Michigan since the Wolverines beat Northern Michigan 97-50 on Nov. 14, 2009.
The Grizzlies beat Tennessee both last season and this season and they’ve been dominant recently in the Summit League. They weren’t intimidated by Michigan, recovering from a double-digit deficit in the first half to forge a 32-all halftime tie.
The Wolverines were uncharacteristically careless in the first half, turning the ball over 10 times, but they were willing to play at a quicker place than usual against the Grizzlies.
Michigan threatened to pull away in the second half with a 14-4 run that included two 3-pointers by Hardaway and one each by Burke and Stu Douglass. After Douglass made his, the Wolverines were 8 of 11 from long distance in the second half and led 66-55.
It was 73-67 after Hamilton made two free throws with 4:39 to play. Douglass answered with a free throw, and after Laval Lucas-Perry’s 3-pointer rattled in and out for Oakland, Hardaway made a 3-pointer from the left corner.
A dunk by Douglass made it 79-67.
It was 32-32 after a first half that lacked rhythm because of problems with the scoreboard. The game was played at The Palace, the home of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. It’s not far from Oakland’s campus.
The overhead scoreboard wasn’t working, forcing a public address announcer to inform fans verbally of the score. There was also a short delay – with Michigan ahead 25-13 – because of an apparent problem with the shot clock.
Oakland chipped away after that, eventually tying it on Travis Bader’s 3-pointer in the final seconds of the half.
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