Michigan pulls away late to defeat Southern Miss, 61-47
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Southern Miss led Michigan, the defending Big Ten champ, at the half, but the Wolverines found a way on the defensive side to claim a 61-47 decision on Thursday night inside historic Crisler Arena.
"For the first 30 minutes, I thought we played as good a basketball game as you could play as far as the game itself," head coach Doc Sadler said. "We had a hard time scoring the last nine minutes, and got a little tired and missed some good looks. We got a layup and called for a charge that kind of turned the tide."
The Golden Eagles (1-1) rallied from a 16-4 deficit in the early going and shot 54 percent in the first half, including making seven of their last eight field-goal attempts. Tyree Griffin sunk a top-of-the-key triple as time expired to tie it at 32, and after further video review during the intermission, it was determined his basket at the 4:32 mark was indeed a three-pointer, resulting in the 33-32 Black and Gold advantage.
Dominic Magee connected on a triple with 17:28 remaining, putting Southern Miss ahead 36-34. Consecutive buckets by him and Davis gave the Golden Eagles their largest lead of the night at 40-36 with 14:30 to play.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman's jumper at the 10:31 mark of the second half put the Wolverines ahead 43-40, its largest lead since the 1:31 mark of the first half (which was followed by a Dominic Magee three-pointer).
That shot came in the midst of a 15-0 run that was broken by Tim Rowe's free-throw at the 6:21 mark.
"There were some positives," Sadler said. "We were down 16-4 on the road and came back to lead at halftime. We kept our composure. We were getting really good shots in the first 10 minutes, but weren't making them. Overall, you gotta be happy that Michigan got only eight offensive rebounds. What a big team. We had almost 50 percent assists to made field goals, so a lot of sharing the basketball."
Southern Miss returns home for a Monday matchup with Blue Mountain (7 p.m. CT) that tips off the Sanford Pentagon Showcase. The Michigan game marked the start of a five-game, 10-day swing, with the final four coming over seven days.
-This was Southern Miss' first regular-season game against a Big Ten opponent since Iowa in 2002.
-The only other Big Ten team it faced since then was Minnesota in the 2014 NIT.
-Southern Miss committed just 10 turnovers.
-Cortez Edwards had a team-high seven boards. -Dominic Magee made his first-career start.