Michigan turns defense into attack to beat San Diego State

ANN ARBOR – Michigan beat San Diego State at the Crisler Center on Saturday afternoon, with the basketball game serving as a sub-card for both schools’ athletic departments.

Who is ready for soccer now?

Hunter Dickinson and Caleb Houston did their part to get Michigan fans in a good mood and together scored 40 points in a 72-58 win. The Wolverines bounced back from a lackluster performance to take a quality win and improve to 5-3.

Michigan’s soccer team will play for the Big Ten championship against Iowa in Indianapolis, kicking off scheduled for 8:17 p.m. ET. San Diego State Football, led by former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke, is also playing for a conference title; this game was scheduled to start at 3 p.m., just minutes after the basketball game ended.

Michigan and San Diego State had never met on the hardwood before Saturday, but the two programs share a common history. Aztec head coach Brian Dutcher was an assistant in Michigan from 1988 to 1998, a period in which Michigan’s head coach Juwan Howards spent three seasons as Wolverine. Dutcher was Howard’s primary recruiter, and the two have remained close friends over the years.

There were hugs and laughter together before the game. Ensuring Dutcher’s homecoming wasn’t entirely happy, Michigan turned the defense to take control during a 14-0 run in the second half.

It was an important achievement after losing to North Carolina on Wednesday. The next game for the Wolverines, ranked 24th, who are likely to drop out of Monday’s AP poll, will be their Big Ten opener on Tuesday in Nebraska.

The Wolverines weren’t flawless on Saturday’s offense, but they were better in some key areas than they’d shown for much of this season. They limited their sales (12) and shot 11 out of 20 out of the 3-point range.

At the other end of the floor, Matt Bradley led San Diego State with 22 points but only scored eight in the second half. The Aztecs shot 39 percent out of the field and had 16 costly turnovers. They fell to 5-3.

San Diego State scored 14:28 on the left in the second half to come up to four before the Wolverines took control. The scored 14 in a row, as the guests remained more than seven minutes without a goal. Michigan put pressure on the entire square and put a lid on the basket. The Aztecs missed seven shots in a row, including several directly on the basket, and made eight ball losses during the route.

Long-range shots by Terrance Williams II and Eli Brooks – from a nice drive and kick from Frankie Collins – took a Dutch break and made it 61-43 Michigan.

Dickinson finished the field 10 out of 16 for 23 points, adding 14 rebounds. He entered the game with a career of 3 but made all three of his 3 point attempts on Saturday. Houston caught fire too, walking 4 out of 5 from downtown. The newcomer scored the best 17 points of his career.

Brooks scored 10 points and five assists for the winner.

Michigan built a 10-point lead in the first half, but only went into halftime with two points. After Michigan’s big run in the second half, the lead never came closer than 14.

Collins, a freshly minted point guard, checked in at 12:45 p.m. in the first half, in the event of a tie. Michigan was up 10 in a matter of minutes.

Collins was in the middle of the first half of Michigan, driving the team on both ends of the floor. Picking up a loose ball, he walked coast to coast, pinching his way through the defenses, and ending in a left-handed layup. He plucked his husband’s bag in the middle of the court and slipped in for a bath. And he found Brandon Johns Jr. for a 3 corner to top off an 8-0 run and give Michigan a 20-13 lead mid-half.

Collins finished with eight points, four rebounds, three assists and a turnover over 24 minutes. The points and playing time were career highs.

Consecutive 3s from Houston and Dickinson pushed the lead to 10, 26-16. The Aztecs continued to put pressure on the basket. A dunk and three layups, including two by Matt Bradley that gave him 12 points, reduced their deficit to 30-29.

On the other end, Michigan went through a 1:10 shooting range before Houston made his third 3 out of the corner to make 33-29.

San Diego countered five points in a row before Dickinson dropped a 3 just before the buzzer to cut the 36-34 Michigan in half.

Striker Moussa Diabaté came out of the game with 12:45 minutes in the first half and did not return. Diabaté was not doing well, according to an in-game update from a program spokesperson.

The sophomore Zeb Jackson saw meaningful action for the first time this season when he checked in with 6:41 minutes in the first half. Jackson, who struggled with an illness earlier in the season, played the final two minutes of Wednesday’s loss in North Carolina for his season debut.

At halftime on Saturday, a Michigan student waved a half field shot back into the basket – the Juwan Howard Challenge – to win a $ 400 gift certificate.

Comments are closed.