Wolverines down Tigers, 73-61


Posted Nov 21, 2011


LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) -- Tim Hardaway Jr. had 21 points, Trey Burke added 14 and No. 15 Michigan knocked off No. 8 Memphis 73-61 in the opening round of the Maui Invitational on Monday.

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) -- Tim Hardaway Jr. had 21 points, Trey Burke added 14 and No. 15 Michigan knocked off No. 8 Memphis 73-61 in the opening round of the Maui Invitational on Monday.

Back in Maui for the first time since 1998, Michigan (4-0) looked right at home in paradise, using its ability to penetrate to shoot 54 percent while hounding the Tigers with a variety of defenses.

The two-time tournament champions move on to face the winner between No. 6 Duke and Tennessee in Tuesday's semifinals.

Memphis (1-1) backed up an easy season-opening win with a shaky performance against the experienced Wolverines. Charles Carmouche led Memphis with 14 points.

Michigan has made a quick turnaround since a disappointing 2009-10 season.

The Wolverines used a late run to get back into the NCAA Tournament last season and came into this year with plenty of expectations, returning nearly everyone except Darius Morris, an NBA second-round pick.

Michigan opened the season with a pair of easy wins, rolling over Ferris State and Towson, then had to hold off Western Illinois 59-55 in regional-round game of the Maui Invitational.

The Wolverines shot well early against Memphis, thanks to penetration by Hardaway and Burke, but was uncharacteristically sloppy with the ball against the Tigers' pressure.

Michigan, which led the nation with 10 turnovers per game last season, had eight in the first half. It made up for it by shooting 15 of 25 and assembling a 10-0 run over the final 3:02 to go up 37-31 at halftime.

The half ended with Burke swatting Joe Jackson's last-second shot out of bounds and players from both sides got tangled at midcourt as they headed toward the locker rooms. Memphis' Will Barton and Michigan's Zack Novak were both hit with technicals for the altercation.

Tempers remained calm in the second half and Michigan gradually pulled away, going up 53-41 on Eso Akunne's 3-pointer in transition with 12 minutes left. The Wolverines kept hitting shots and used their defensive pressure to prevent the Tigers from making a run.

Memphis has made a nice recovery since coach John Calipari left for Kentucky in 2009 and took most of the nation's No. 1 recruiting class with him.

Ever-enthusiastic Josh Pastner has put Memphis back among the elite with some not-so-bad recruiting chops of his own, bringing in one of the best classes in 2010.

The Tigers lost in the opening round of last year's NCAA Tournament with a freshmen-heavy roster, but opened this season with the type of expectations that came when Calipari was coach.

With five starters and 10 players back, Memphis was 11th in the preseason poll and moved up three spots over the season's first two weeks.

The Tigers beat Belmont 97-81 in their opening game of the Maui Invitational behind Will Barton's 23 points and 22 from Wesley Witherspoon.

Back in Maui for the first time since 2006, Memphis created problems for Michigan in the first half with its defensive pressure, but couldn't keep Hardaway (11 points) and Burke (nine) out of the lane. The Tigers also struggled to hit shots from the perimeter against Michigan's mix of zone and man defenses, hitting just 2 of 12 from 3-point range.

Memphis tried to make a run after falling behind 14 in the second half, but had dug too deep of a hole and ran out of gas down the stretch.


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