Balanced, efficient offense propels Michigan past Pitt, into Legends Classic title game

NEW YORK — Michigan dominated the second half on Wednesday night time. As a outcome, the Wolverines will play for a championship on Thursday night time.

Michigan blew out Pittsburgh 91-60 within the Legends Classic at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and can play the winner of Arizona State and VCU for the title.

Michigan freshman Jett Howard led all scorers with 17 factors regardless of taking part in simply 19 minutes as a consequence of second-half foul hassle, Kobe Bufkin scored 14, and Joey Baker had 14 because of 4 3-pointers.

The Wolverines shot 58 % from the sector, together with 9-of-20 from 3. They dedicated solely six turnovers, 5 of which got here within the closing 5:32 of the blowout.

They grabbed a lead halfway via the primary half and by no means let Pittsburgh get nearer than 11 over the ultimate 17:20.

The Wolverines, ranked twentieth within the AP ballot, improved to 3-0. Pittsburgh fell to 1-2 and can play in Thursday’s comfort game. Arizona State and VCU took the court docket for pregame warmups shortly after the buzzer sounded on Michigan’s victory. Both potential opponents have former Wolverines on the roster: Frankie Collins begins at level guard for Arizona State; Brandon Johns Jr. and Zeb Jackson play for VCU.

On Thursday, Michigan hit its stride out of halftime. Howard adopted up a four-point play with one other 3 earlier than committing two fouls (his third and fourth) in a two-second span that despatched him to the bench. Terrance Williams II picked up the slack with a 3 and a layup, and Jaelin Llewellyn’s twisting reverse made it 52-39 with 15:55 to go.

Bufkin transformed his personal three-point play then fed Dickinson with a long-range no-look cross for an additional and-one. Michigan led 62-44 with 12:39 left.

A 7-0 spurt a few minutes later pushed the benefit to 23 halfway via the half. Howard returned with 6:37 left however fouled out somewhat greater than a minute later.

It was a group effort for Michigan. Hunter Dickinson added 11 factors, seven rebounds, and 5 assists. He cracked 1,000 profession factors within the season opener and surpassed 500 rebounds on Wednesday.

Llewellyn added eight factors. Williams tallied seven factors and 7 rebounds. Dug McDaniel, a freshman level guard, was energetic however managed (eight factors, a game-high eight assists, and 5 rebounds in 21 minutes).

Pittsburgh, which misplaced by 25 to West Virginia on Friday, was led by Jamarius Burton’s 14 factors. The Panthers hit their first three triples however cooled off from there.

Michigan trailed by six early however saved feeding Dickinson, whose layup gave Michigan its first lead, 18-17, with 11:17 left within the half.

Howard was aggressive driving early; his fourth basket was Michigan’s eighth straight make and pushed the result in 28-23. Dickinson’s elastic-armed putback prolonged the margin to seven. It went to 10 on a Llewellyn runner with 3:19 to go.

The Wolverines went chilly from there, lacking their subsequent six pictures earlier than halftime, however nonetheless led 38-32 on the break. Howard and Dickinson mixed for 18 factors.

Barclays Center, dwelling of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, hosted a modest however overwhelmingly pro-Michigan crowd.

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