No. 3 Michigan holds off Bradley
Peoria, IL (Sports Network) - Nik Stauskas scored a game-high 22 points and knocked down 4-of-5 from behind the arc to help the third-ranked Michigan Wolverines hold off the Bradley Braves, 74-66, on Saturday.
Trey Burke finished with 16 points and five assists while Jordan Morgan posted a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolverines (7-0), who were coming off a victory over 18th-ranked N.C. State.
"This was a terrific environment for us to learn and get better," said Michigan coach John Beilein, whose team played its first true road game of the season.
Tim Hardaway Jr., the team's leading scorer coming in, was held to single- digits for the first time all season. He scored nine points, all in the second half.
Walt Lemon Jr. scored a team-high 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting for Bradley (5-2), which had its two-game winning streak snapped. Tyshon Pickett had 11 and Will Egolf, Jordan Prosser and Jalen Crawford each finished with 10 points in the defeat.
The Braves, who were hosting a Top 3 opponent for the first time in Carver Arena History, gave Michigan all they could handle, especially in the first half.
After Burke hit from downtown gave Michigan a five-point edge less than eight minutes into the game, Egolf answered with consecutive triples around a a Max Bielfeldt jumper to pull the Braves back to within one. He then drained a jumper later in the session to bring the Braves to within 28-26.
However, Hardaway Jr. found an open Stauskas for three, putting Michigan ahead by five with 3:01 left in the opening half.
Bradley continued to fight back and cut the Wolverines' advantage to 34-30 following a Glenn Robinson III jumper before halftime, but struggled to keep pace in the second half.
Michigan began to create some separation early in the second stanza, thanks in part to the deep shooting from Stauskas.
He drained a three to cap an 8-2 flurry for the Wolverines, ballooning their lead to double-digits before draining another later in the period to put Michigan ahead 60-46 with 8:02 to play.
The Braves responded with a quick 5-0 spurt to pull back within single-digits, but the Wolverines immediately rallied off six straight points to build a 15- point advantage.
Bradley used one last push to try and come back, but ultimately fell short.
Following a Lemon Jr. triple and a pair of free throws from Egolf, the Braves forced the Wolverines into three consecutive turnovers, which led to layups for Lemon Jr. and Dyricus Simms-Edwards. Lemon Jr. then finished another layup with 27 seconds to play to cap an 8-0 run to make it 70-65.
However, Bradley was unable to get any closer, as Burke and Stauskas each sank a pair of free throws to put the contest out of reach.
Michigan owns a 7-1 lead in the all-times series between the two schools ... The Wolverines are off to their best start under coach Beilein and are 7-0 for the first time since 2006-07 ... With two more wins, Beilein will record his 100th victory with Michigan and become just the seventh coach in school history to do so ... Bradley fell to 6-23 all-time against teams ranked in the top three in the country.