ANN ARBOR, Mich. – After another nondescript December win, John Beilein and Michigan are eager to resume Big Ten play.
“I know people would probably say, you’d like more nonconference games, games you’re going to win by 20. I don’t want them,” Beilein said. “We’re done with that.”
Iggy Brazdeikis scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half, and No. 2 Michigan eventually pulled away for a 74-52 victory over Binghamton on Sunday. The Wolverines have not had a weekday game since Dec. 4. Since then, they’ve played one game apiece the last four weekends.
Forward Isaiah Livers likened this stretch to a college football schedule – and said he’d prefer to get back to playing more games. Michigan returns to Big Ten play in its next game.
“We like playing every three, four days. That’s really good,” Livers said.
The Wolverines (13-0) led just 46-43 before a 19-4 run put the game away. Jordan Poole scored 18 points, and Zavier Simpson had two points, nine rebounds and a career-high 10 assists.
Chancellor Barnard led the Bearcats (4-10) with 14 points. Michigan was the highest-ranked opponent in the history of the Binghamton program.
“That’s a team that could win the national championship,” Bearcats coach Tommy Dempsey said.
Michigan’s coach actually had some reasons to be frustrated Sunday. Beilein’s Wolverines went 19 of 45 from inside the arc.
The Bearcats played a zone defense that all but conceded shots for Michigan from around the free throw line. The Wolverines repeatedly misfired from that area.
“This team had a great plan,” Beilein said. “Shorten the game, make us make a 15-footer – which we had a dreadful time doing.”
Michigan did go 11 of 18 from 3-point range. Poole made a career-high six shots from long distance, and Brazdeikis made all three of his attempts.
Livers scored 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting for the Wolverines.
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