DETROIT, Mich. — The University of Michigan men’s basketball team used a 19-0 first-half spurt to get out to a big lead and the Wolverines ran past the University of Detroit Mercy on Saturday by a score of 90-58. The win came in the inaugural college basketball game played at Little Caesars Arena.
Michigan led throughout the game but it was a 19-0 run in a span of just 3:36 of the first half that turned a 23-13 game into a 42-13 advantage. That spurt was part of a larger 31-4 blitz that saw the Wolverines convert seven consecutive 3-pointers in building an insurmountable 37-point lead.
U-M shot 9-of-15 (.600) from beyond the arc in the opening half as part of a 50 percent overall performance (21-42 FG). Zavier Simpson (12 points), Duncan Robinson (11 points) and Jordan Poole (10 points) all logged double figures with the trio combining for 13-for-17 (.765) shooting which included a 7-of-8 mark from deep.
Playing without star forward Mortiz Wagner (ankle), U-M turned to big men Jon Teske and Austin Davis with Teske earning the start. Both players demonstrated soft hands and finishing ability around the rim in combining for 10 first-half points, with Michigan outscoring UDM in the paint by a count of 22-4.
For the game, Charles Matthews led the Wolverines with 20 points in just 24 minutes of action to go with seven rebounds. The junior impressed in all facets of the game and was playing with a heavy heart following the passing of his grandmother, whose funeral was Friday in Chicago. Matthews flew to the game from Chicago, meeting his team at the arena.
Teske finished with his second career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Detroit was led by Kam Chatman, who transferred from U-M two years ago, and finished the game with 18 points on 5-of-12 shooting and 13 rebounds.
Michigan returns to action on Thursday, Dec. 21 with a 9 p.m. home game against Alabama A&M. That game comes on the back-end of a doubleheader with the Michigan women’s team hosting Delaware State at 3:30 p.m. The women’s game features free admission for youths under the age of 18, and Santa will visit with children on the concourse from 1-3:30 p.m.