Eastern Michigan loses 93-54 to No. 2 Michigan
- Article by: LARRY LAGE
- Associated Press
- December 20, 2012 - 10:39 PM
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Eastern Michigan coach Rob Murphy had one prevailing thought going through his mind when his team led No. 2 Michigan by four points Thursday night.
"It's early," Murphy recalled thinking.
Indeed, it was too soon to get excited.
Tim Hardaway Jr. had 17 points and a career-high seven assists to help the Wolverines rout the Eagles 93-54.
Michigan trailed 6-2 in the opening minutes, then took control with a 20-0 run. The Wolverines led 40-24 at halftime and enjoyed an even bigger cushion for much of the second half.
"I've never coached against a team who can shoot the ball at a high rate like Michigan does," Murphy said. "Every position outside of the (center) can really shoot."
Eastern Michigan (6-4) has lost two straight since beating Purdue.
Earlier this month, the Eagles lost to No. 3 Syracuse 84-48, giving Murphy an up-close look at two of college basketball's best teams.
"Syracuse is extremely athletic with great size," said Murphy, a former Orange assistant. "Michigan has some great shooters and they are really efficient.
"Both teams have great point guards."
Murphy, though, said he's really not concerned with how his team matches up with elite teams because they're not in the Mid-American Conference.
"Our ultimate goal is to win the MAC championship," he said. "I can't judge my team when we play Syracuse and Michigan."
Eastern Michigan's Daylen Harrison scored 13 points and Glen Bryant had 10.
The Wolverines (12-0) are off to their best start since winning the first 16 games of the 1985-86 season.
Michigan's Trey Burke had 11 points and eight assists. Nik Stauskas made three 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 16 points, while fellow freshmen Mitch McGary had 10 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double and Glenn Robinson III added 13 points for the Wolverines.
Burke, the reigning Big Ten player of the week, took the ball from Jalen Ross on the first possession of the game and made a layup.
Ross responded with a 3-pointer and Bryant made another shot from beyond the arc to give the Eagles a four-point lead that proved to be their highlight of the night. Michigan used a balanced offense and aggressive defense to build a 22-6 lead.
The Wolverines then seemed to show some mercy — briefly playing five freshmen, including two that seldom play — and didn't add much to their lead in the first half.
Ross had nine points in the first half but the rest of the Eagles' starters scored just seven combined. Ross didn't score after halftime.
Jordan Morgan made a low-post shot and a mid-range jumper on Michigan's first two possessions of the second half. The Wolverines led by 30-plus points with 14 minutes left and coasted to another lopsided victory.
"We let a couple teams come back on us early in the season, but we didn't want that to happen again," Hardaway said. "It's a matter of mental focus and preparation. We know that we have to keep playing when we get a lead."
After beating No. 25 North Carolina State by seven points, Michigan won its next five games — against Bradley, Western Michigan, Arkansas, Binghamton and West Virginia — by an average of 19-plus points to reach its highest ranking since the 1992-93 season, the second year of the Fab Five era.
The Wolverines have one more tuneup — Dec. 29 at home against Central Michigan — before facing Big Ten competition.
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