Michigan tops CMU without Hardaway Jr.

ANN ARBOR — Tim Hardaway Jr. out of the lineup? No worries.

The junior guard was sidelined before No. 2 Michigan’s game against Central Michigan on Saturday night, but double-digit scoring efforts from sophomore Trey Burke and freshmen Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas helped guide the Wolverines to an 88-73 victory before a sellout crowd of 12,693 at Crisler Center.

U-M coach John Beilein said that Hardaway suffered an ankle injury but declined to say when he would return to the lineup.

“It’s really tough to say,” Beilein said. “But we made an educated decision that the long run to the Big Ten is more important than having him ready for every game. If it was a Big Ten game, we still would have sat him. …

“I don’t know when he’ll be back.”

With Hardaway out, Beilein went with freshman guard Caris LeVert and a starting lineup with three freshmen. LeVert finished with nine points.

But Burke, a sophomore, realized the Wolverines’ inexperience and took matters into his own hands, scoring 22 points with 11 assists. He scored seven of U-M’s first 18 points and by 9:39 of the first half had racked up 14 points while the Wolverines took a 31-18 lead.

“I know Caris can score, but we were kind of inexperienced out there,” Burke said. “Coming off the ball screens, it felt like no one was guarding me. Coach just told me to shoot the shot. If it’s not (available), kick it out. It was just a matter of going off the defense of whatever that defense was

running.”

After a first half of scoring, Burke dished out eight assists in the second half as Robinson (20 points) and Stauskas (19 points) took over the offensive

responsibilities.

“He’s as veteran as any sophomore I’ve ever been around,” Beilein said. “I look at him like he’s the old man running the offense, because we knew there was going to be three or four freshmen on the court with him tonight. He’s just as steady as can be.”

CMU’s constantly changing zone defense limited Stauskas, who had scored in double figures in every game this season but one, to just two points in the first half. The Chippewas used a 1-3-1 zone in the second half, giving the sharpshooter more open looks. Stauskas took advantage, knocking down five three-pointers, one of which gave U-M its biggest lead, 67-44, of the game.

“I have no clue what the defense was doing in the first half,” Stauskas said. “They were in some crazy switching zone. I was always covered, but everyone else was wide-open.

“In the second half, I think they switched to a 1-3-1 and right away, I started getting open looks.”

Senior Olivier Mbaigoto led CMU (7-6) with 14 points.

The win helped Michigan improve to 13-0 on the season heading into Big Ten play on Thursday when the Wolverines travel to

Northwestern.

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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