Michigan takes down Coppin State, 87-45

ANN ARBOR — Zak Irvin was the forgotten freshman.

While fellow frosh Derrick Walton has started at point guard for Michigan, Irvin rolled off the bench, playing spotty minutes behind Nik Stasukas.

But as Stauskas was sidelined Friday with an ankle injury suffered in Puerto Rico, Irvin let loose on Coppin State, scoring a career-high 24 in the No. 22 Wolverines’ 87-45 win at Crisler Center.

Irvin was the big shot-taker in last Sunday’s Puerto Rico title game loss to Charlotte but not the big maker, hitting just 3-of-14.

Yet when Michigan (5-2) was looking for its offense Friday without leading scorer Stauskas, Irvin gladly stepped up. He took what was available in the first half, tying his season high with 10.

Then after the break, Indiana’s 2013 Mr. Basketball took off, hitting four consecutive three-pointers to vault him into a rare game and the Wolverines into a 30-plus point lead as he finished the game hitting 6-of-10 three-pointers.

With the Charlotte loss lingering and Tuesday’s Duke game looming, Friday had an ominous potential, especially after U-M coach John Beilein said this week how talented the Eagles (2-3) were.

But when U-M was able to bring in a bench player to drop over 20 points, Coppin had no chance.

Irvin did a little of everything, grabbing five rebounds and with three assists, feeding Walton on a fast break and throwing an alley-oop to Glenn Robinson III.

Michigan opened the game with an unusual lineup, missing Stauskas.

So the Wolverines went with two big men, Mitch McGary and Jordan Morgan, both starting for the first time this season.

The two big man lineup worked for Morgan early as he got three baskets in the first six minutes.

But the Wolverines got their separation when they went on a 10-2 run with a crew of mostly lesser-used players —Irvin, Jon Horford, Caris LeVert, Morgan, and Spike Albrecht.

By halftime, with a healed Robinson (back) scoring nine points and Irvin with 10, the Wolverines built a 42-23 lead.

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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