Towson vs Michigan

Michigan starts fast in win over Towson wire reports

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Trey Burke is learning a lot in a short amount of time.

Michigan's new point guard made his first career start Monday night, and the freshman contributed a couple early 3-pointers to help the 17th-ranked Wolverines score the game's first 21 points. They went on to an easy 64-47 victory over Towson.

"I pretty much, over the last couple weeks, learned the whole offense and learned the rest of the plays," Burke said. "Now I just feel like I'm out there in a groove. I'm the point guard, so basically, the team feeds off of my poise."

Burke finished with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 15 points, and Evan Smotrycz added 13. The Wolverines (2-0) essentially put the game away with their early run, and also started the second half with six straight points to take a 43-16 lead.

Robert Nwankwo led Towson (0-2) with 16 points.

The game was part of the Maui Invitational, although the result couldn't affect the tournament's schedule. Michigan is part of a set field of eight teams that will play in Hawaii next week. Towson is one of four teams playing preliminary games against Hawaii-bound teams. Those four teams also will play their own mini-tournament in Tennessee next weekend.

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Michigan began the season Friday with a 59-33 victory over Division II Ferris State. The Wolverines finished that game on a 21-1 run, and against Towson, they picked up right where they'd left off.

Burke was supposed to start the opener but came off the bench instead after being late to a walkthrough. He was in the starting lineup Monday.

"It's a lesson learned," Burke said. "No excuses. It won't happen again -- freshman mistake."

Towson returns only one letter winner and no starters from 2010-11. The Tigers looked increasingly confused on offense in the first half, settling for bad shots and struggling to take care of the ball. A layup by Smotrycz made it 19-0, and Towson called a timeout.

Zack Novak added another layup for Michigan before Erique Gumbs made a shot from the top of the key for the Tigers, ending their scoring drought and earning a sarcastic cheer from the Michigan fans with 10:34 remaining in the half.

"They just didn't let us do anything," Nwankwo said. "They are so long and athletic that they weren't letting us execute anything. We started pressing, but we got going a little after we finally hit something."

Burke made a 3-pointer from the corner just before the halftime buzzer to make it 37-16.

The 5-foot-11 Burke has the difficult task of replacing NBA draft pick Darius Morris at point guard for Michigan. Morris, who was five inches taller than Burke, was a terrific playmaker, but only once in his two seasons with the Wolverines did he make more than two 3-pointers in a game.

Burke made three in the first half Monday.

"Obviously he doesn't have the length of Darius," coach John Beilein said. "It's a different scheme we have to use."

Towson lost its opener 100-54 to Kansas and was out of this game early, but Nwankwo scored nine points in the first half. Deon Jones scored 12 for the game, and Marcus Damas added 11.

Beilein put forward Jordan Morgan in the starting lineup after Jon Horford started the opener. Morgan scored six points and Horford had four. Beilein said Morgan has been practicing well.

"We've got to find ways for them to score inside," Beilein said.

About the only drawback for the Wolverines was the fact that they went six of 25 from 3-point range. Without Morris' ability to penetrate -- and with Morgan and Horford still finding their way inside -- there's a danger Michigan could become overly reliant on outside shooting.

The Wolverines also allowed Towson to shoot 52 percent from the field in the second half.

"We played great `D' the first couple minutes," Burke said. "Coach B got into us for letting it off in the second half."

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Zack Novak adds layups to help Michigan get a large lead early in the game to crush Towson. (US Presswire)
Zack Novak adds layups to help Michigan get a large lead early in the game to crush Towson. (US Presswire)
Towson (0-2)163147
Michigan #17 (2-0) «372764
TWST:R. Nwankwo 16 Pts
TWST:R. Nwankwo 10 Reb
TWST:K. Walden 5 Ast
MI:T. Hardaway Jr. 15 Pts
MI:J. Horford 7 Reb
MI:S. Douglass 4 Ast

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Robert Nwankwo
Evan Smotrycz
Towson Tigers
R. Nwankwo, F377-122-6100316
M. Damas, F373-84-763111
K. Walden, G370-40-02510
D. Jones, F335-90-061412
E. Gumbs, F201-21-44133
J. Pressley, F151-20-00052
A. Giergen, F80-00-00010
W. Adams, G80-30-00000
J. Flash, F20-10-01000
C. Collins, G10-00-00100
B. Blackston, G10-00-01000
D. Cook, G11-10-00003
J. Benimon, FDid Not Play
M. Burwell, GDid Not Play
Totals 18-427-1730111847
Michigan Wolverines
T. Burke, G305-80-022013
T. Hardaway Jr., G296-120-212315
Z. Novak, G283-52-35238
E. Smotrycz, F265-103-442413
J. Morgan, F192-22-45026
S. Douglass, G270-70-04400
J. Horford, F142-40-07004
M. Vogrich, G92-40-00124
C. Brundidge, G60-01-30001
C. Christian, F40-00-00010
E. Akunne, G30-00-01000
B. McLimans, F30-00-00000
C. Person, G10-10-00000
J. Bartelstein, G10-10-01000
M. Bielfeldt, FDid Not Play
S. Tummala, FDid Not Play
Totals 25-548-1630131564
Colonial Athletic
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Will. & Mary10-817-14110
J. Madison7-1110-23256

Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Michigan St.10-820-1550
Ohio St.7-1117-1590
Penn St.6-1215-18101
Other games
UCF 50 Final
Florida St 73
Norfolk St 68 Final
MU 99
MAN 56 Final
Syracuse 92
Wagner 66 Final
UConn 78
OAK 57 Final
Alabama 74
MER 63 Final
Missouri 81
Wash St 81 Final