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Michigan Beats No. 8 Gonzaga 82-64 To Win Atlantis Title

By Aaron Beard, AP Basketball Writer

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — Isaiah Livers scored 21 points and Michigan again overwhelmed a highly ranked opponent with its flowing offense to beat No. 8 Gonzaga 82-64 on Friday in the championship game of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Jon Teske added 19 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks as the tournament’s most valuable player for the Wolverines.

Michigan beat sixth-ranked North Carolina on Thursday and finished a memorable three-game run to the title by giving first-year coach Juwan Howard another marquee victory.

“Well, I’m sure we’re on the map now,” Howard said with a chuckle.

This one had a similar feeling to the UNC win, too, with Michigan’s offense kicking into a hot-shooting gear midway through the second half to take control and build a huge lead.

Michigan (7-0) led just 38-36 when the shots started falling from just about everywhere: a 3-pointer from Zavier Simpson, two drives from freshman Franz Wagner, a 3 from Livers and two more from David DeJulius.

It was a burst of 10 straight scoring possessions — with Michigan moving the ball to get good looks on just about every one — that put the Wolverines up 62-43 by the midway point of the second half.

Gonzaga (8-1) never got the lead below double figures again.

“Every time we made a mental breakdown, they scored,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “They literally made us pay on every one of our assignments that we screwed up — a switch or we screwed up a coverage. And they made us pay, so they deserve a lot of credit for that.”

Michigan shot 54% for the game, including 12 of 23 from 3-point range.

Killian Tillie scored 20 points for the battered Bulldogs, who dealt with numerous injury concerns over the three-day tournament. Gonzaga just couldn’t keep up with the Wolverines operating with confident efficiency, and finished the game shooting 40%.

BIG PICTURE

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs fought through a semifinal win against No. 11 Oregon as their highlight of the Thanksgiving-week tournament. But Few would probably love to use the coming days to get healthy, with Tillie missing the opener as he continues playing his way back from an October knee surgery while Gonzaga again didn’t have Anton Watson because of an ankle injury.

Michigan: Howard took over for John Beilein and inherited a team that lost its top three scorers to leave uncertainty even with several experienced players returning. But the Wolverines shot 50% or better in every game, handled two top-10 teams with ease — and likely secured themselves a debut in next week’s latest AP Top 25 poll.

UP NEXT

Gonzaga: The Zags host Texas Southern on Wednesday.

Michigan: The Wolverines visit No. 2 Louisville on Tuesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in what has become a very big game on the national schedule.


 

© 2019, Newspaper Staff. All rights reserved.

The post Michigan Beats No. 8 Gonzaga 82-64 To Win Atlantis Title appeared first on The Village Reporter.


Source: The Village Reporter

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