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No. 5 Michigan stays unbeaten, tops South Carolina 89-78

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) South Carolina coach Frank Martin had a simple explanation for why Michigan's Jordan Poole is so tough to defend.

''He makes the easy shots, and he makes the hard shots,'' Martin said.

Poole scored 19 of his 26 points in the second half, and No. 5 Michigan remained unbeaten with an 89-78 victory over South Carolina on Saturday. The Gamecocks scored more points than any team all season against Michigan, but the Wolverines were ahead by six at halftime, and they led comfortably for most of the second half.

Iggy Brazdeikis scored 17 points and Jon Teske added 15 for Michigan. Chris Silva led South Carolina with 18.

The Wolverines have won 24 of their last 25 games, with the lone defeat coming in the national title game against Villanova last season.

''We knew coming into the year that we'd have a target on our backs simply because of what we did last year, but we're just taking it day by day, we're locked in at practice, we prepare for the game plan,'' Poole said. ''The coaches do a really good job of keeping us in the moment.''

Michigan was coming off its first close game of the season - a two-point win at Northwestern on Tuesday night. The Wolverines were uncharacteristically careless against South Carolina (4-5), turning the ball over 11 times in the first half and 16 in the game.

Still, Michigan (10-0) went on a 13-2 run near the end of the first and led 42-36 at halftime.

Poole went to work in the second half with a pair of 3-pointers and a dunk, putting the Wolverines up 56-45. The sophomore guard scored 15 points in the first 10 minutes of the half.

''I just feel like I was letting the game come to me, pretty much, but also being aggressive,'' Poole said. ''I wasn't being aggressive earlier on in the season, I don't think.''

BALANCE

Teske had nine rebounds and three blocks. He and Poole are sometimes overshadowed offensively by Brazdeikis and Charles Matthews, but not on this day.

''I love what Jon and Jordan are doing right now,'' coach John Beilein said. ''They're as key as any of the guys that are getting any other type of attention.''

NOT BACKING DOWN

Despite the presence of the 7-foot-1 Teske, South Carolina outscored Michigan 44-26 in the paint. Silva said the key is sticking with the offensive plan all the way through each possession.

''Today we took the time, we grew up, we tried to execute to the end,'' Silva said.

BIG PICTURE

South Carolina: No opponent had shot better than 45 percent from the field against Michigan. The Gamecocks finished at 52 and also won the turnover battle against the Wolverines. South Carolina was done in by fouls. Michigan shot 23 of 30 on free throws while the Gamecocks were just 9 of 14.

''I saw a different gear from our guys,'' Martin said. ''I was real proud that they stepped up to the challenge of playing such a good team.''

Michigan: The Wolverines had held every opponent under 40 percent from the floor until their last two games, when Northwestern and South Carolina eclipsed that. So Michigan hasn't been as dominant this week at the defensive end, but the Wolverines had five players score at least 12 points Saturday and won without much drama.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Nobody ahead of Michigan lost this week, although Sunday's matchup between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 7 Tennessee could affect where the Wolverines end up in the next ranking.

UP NEXT

South Carolina: The Gamecocks take a break for exams before hosting No. 4 Virginia on Dec. 19.

Michigan: The Wolverines face their first in-state opponent of the season when they host Western Michigan next Saturday.

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Key Players
A. Lawson
00 G
Z. Simpson
3 G
30.2 Min. Per Game 30.2
6.8 Pts. Per Game 6.8
6.0 Ast. Per Game 6.0
5.0 Reb. Per Game 5.0
39.3 Field Goal % 41.2
29.3 Three Point % 21.7
56.4 Free Throw % 41.2
  Defensive rebound by Zavier Simpson 22.0
  Maik Kotsar missed jump shot 24.0
+ 1 Ignas Brazdeikis made 2nd of 2 free throws 30.0
+ 1 Ignas Brazdeikis made 1st of 2 free throws 30.0
  Personal foul on Chris Silva 30.0
+ 1 Chris Silva made 2nd of 2 free throws 39.0
  Chris Silva missed 1st of 2 free throws 39.0
  Shooting foul on Isaiah Livers 39.0
  Turnover on Ignas Brazdeikis 1:01
+ 2 Chris Silva made dunk, assist by Keyshawn Bryant 1:13
+ 2 Jordan Poole made layup 1:37
Team Stats
Points 78 89
Field Goals 32-62 (51.6%) 28-54 (51.9%)
3-Pointers 5-11 (45.5%) 10-24 (41.7%)
Free Throws 9-14 (64.3%) 23-30 (76.7%)
Total Rebounds 24 37
Offensive 6 10
Defensive 16 24
Team 2 3
Assists 14 13
Steals 8 5
Blocks 3 4
Turnovers 10 16
Fouls 22 14
Technicals 1 0
18 PTS, 12 REB, 2 AST
26 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST
12T
away team logo South Carolina 4-5 364278
home team logo 5 Michigan 10-0 424789
Team Stats
away team logo South Carolina 4-5 74.7 PPG 42.8 RPG 13.8 APG
home team logo 5 Michigan 10-0 73.3 PPG 41.5 RPG 13.9 APG
Key Players
30
C. Silva F 11.1 PPG 6.7 RPG 1.2 APG 42.1 FG%
2
J. Poole G 13.4 PPG 4.0 RPG 2.1 APG 51.5 FG%
Top Scorers
C. Silva F 18 PTS 12 REB 2 AST
J. Poole G 26 PTS 5 REB 4 AST
51.6 FG% 51.9
45.5 3PT FG% 41.7
64.3 FT% 76.7
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
C. Silva 29 18 12 2 0 1 0 5 7/13 1/1 3/7 4 8
M. Kotsar 30 16 1 2 0 1 5 2 7/10 0/0 2/2 0 1
K. Bryant 31 13 4 2 1 1 0 2 6/13 0/0 1/1 0 4
A. Lawson 23 10 0 5 3 0 2 2 3/7 1/2 3/4 0 0
T. Moss 12 2 1 2 1 0 2 2 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
C. Silva 29 18 12 2 0 1 0 5 7/13 1/1 3/7 4 8
M. Kotsar 30 16 1 2 0 1 5 2 7/10 0/0 2/2 0 1
K. Bryant 31 13 4 2 1 1 0 2 6/13 0/0 1/1 0 4
A. Lawson 23 10 0 5 3 0 2 2 3/7 1/2 3/4 0 0
T. Moss 12 2 1 2 1 0 2 2 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 1
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
H. Gravett 20 9 0 0 0 0 0 2 3/3 3/3 0/0 0 0
A. Frink 10 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 2/3 0/1 0/0 0 0
T. Campbell 22 2 1 1 2 0 1 0 1/4 0/2 0/0 0 1
E. Hinson 12 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1/4 0/2 0/0 1 0
F. Haase 11 2 2 0 1 0 0 3 1/4 0/0 0/0 1 1
J. Bolden - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Cudd - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Minaya - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Nelson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Couisnard - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 78 22 14 8 3 10 22 32/62 5/11 9/14 6 16
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
J. Poole 36 26 5 4 1 0 4 0 8/12 4/7 6/7 0 5
I. Brazdeikis 35 17 6 0 0 1 2 3 3/10 0/4 11/12 1 5
J. Teske 29 15 9 1 0 3 2 4 6/9 0/0 3/5 3 6
C. Matthews 27 12 6 1 1 0 1 2 4/8 2/4 2/4 4 2
Z. Simpson 38 7 3 7 3 0 4 1 3/7 0/1 1/2 0 3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
J. Poole 36 26 5 4 1 0 4 0 8/12 4/7 6/7 0 5
I. Brazdeikis 35 17 6 0 0 1 2 3 3/10 0/4 11/12 1 5
J. Teske 29 15 9 1 0 3 2 4 6/9 0/0 3/5 3 6
C. Matthews 27 12 6 1 1 0 1 2 4/8 2/4 2/4 4 2
Z. Simpson 38 7 3 7 3 0 4 1 3/7 0/1 1/2 0 3
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
I. Livers 25 12 3 0 0 0 1 3 4/7 4/7 0/0 1 2
A. Davis 4 0 2 0 0 0 1 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 1
E. Brooks 6 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 0
J. Faulds - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Wilson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Baird - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Castleton - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. DeJulius - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Johns Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Nunez - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 89 34 13 5 4 16 14 28/54 10/24 23/30 10 24