South Carolina State loses 93-59 at Michigan - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

South Carolina State loses 93-59 at Michigan

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South Carolina State coach Murray Garvin found out the hard way that Caris LeVert is a much different player than he was last season.

LeVert made his first five 3-point attempts, and No. 7 Michigan had a terrific night from beyond the arc, breezing to a 93-59 victory over Garvin's Bulldogs on Tuesday night. LeVert finished with a career-high 24 points, going 6 of 7 from long distance.

Garvin said afterward he was concerned about Spike Albrecht, Michigan's backup point guard. Albrecht came out of obscurity to score 17 points in the first half of Michigan's loss to Louisville in last season's NCAA title game.

"We saw (No.) 2 go off in the national championship game, so we were worried about him," Garvin said. "We were waiting for him to start shooting, but LeVert was the one. Whoa, he was making everything in sight. We didn't expect that."

LeVert was a role player for last season's Final Four team, coming off the bench to provide an occasional lift defensively with his wiry 6-foot-6 frame. He's started the first two games this month and been much more aggressive at the offensive end.

"He is a nightmare on closeouts," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "If somebody's got to go get to him, he can shoot it in or go by you."

Nik Stauskas added a career-high 23 points — he was 5 of 6 from 3-point range.

"They were kind of playing a matchup zone — I don't really know what they were in," Stauskas said. "It was kind of crazy at times, because we didn't know whether to run a man offense or a zone offense. We were just penetrating and kicking out, and we were getting a lot of open shots."

The Wolverines (2-0) were again without star big man Mitch McGary, who has been out with a back problem.

Jordan Smith scored 19 points for South Carolina State (1-2).

Michigan, which scored only 69 points in a season-opening win over UMass-Lowell last week, led 59-23 at halftime Tuesday after going 12 of 19 from 3-point range. The Wolverines finished 15 of 28 from beyond the arc.

"This is going to make us better as a program, because our kids get this experience and the chance to play against a team they were watching during the tournament," Garvin said. "I'm just glad we don't have to play anyone like that in our conference."

LeVert made five 3-pointers in the first 8:18, helping Michigan to a 27-10 lead. Glenn Robinson III dunked along the baseline moments later, and the Wolverines were never really threatened.

Stauskas was outstanding as well in the first half, making all six of his shots, five from beyond the arc. He also had 17 points at halftime.

Matthew Hezekiah scored 11 points for the Bulldogs.

"This was a big experience for all of us," Hezekiah said. "That team was in the championship game, and now we're coming in their gym. We looked at it like our chance to play for a championship, and we really wanted to play them tough, but they've got so much size and so much physical ability, and then they just started hitting 3s from everywhere."

Michigan's school record for 3-pointers is 16, which the Wolverines last accomplished three years ago against Bryant. The mark seemed likely to fall, but Michigan ended up one short. The Wolverines shot only 36 percent from the field in the second half and were outscored 36-34. But the game was never in doubt.

Michigan's individual school record is nine 3-pointers, by Garde Thompson in a 1987 NCAA tournament game. Michigan beat Navy in that game despite 50 points by David Robinson.

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