No. 20 Michigan 77, Bradley 66

After beating a team with his own son on its staff, Michigan
coach John Beilein insisted there were no mixed feelings.

”I’ve been like this my whole life,” Beilein said. ”I’m so
focused in the game, my mother could be on the other bench – my
late mother, bless her heart, she could be on the other bench …
and you know what, she’d be the same way. Your job is to win that
game.”

Evan Smotrycz had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Tim Hardaway
Jr. added a soaring dunk during a decisive run in the second half
to lead the 20th-ranked Wolverines to a 77-66 win over Bradley on
Thursday night. Beilein’s son Patrick is Bradley’s director of
basketball operations, and he had a bit more trouble than his
father blocking out the unusual circumstances.

”Once the ball went up, and Michigan scores, and I see my mom
clapping,” Patrick Beilein said. ”I follow Michigan so much when
we’re not playing them, I had to flip the switch to, `I’m with
Bradley.”’

The game was tied at 45 in the second half when Smotrycz made a
3-pointer to put Michigan (10-2) ahead to stay. Bradley (5-7) still
trailed by one at 50-49 when the Wolverines went on a 21-7 run.

Hardaway dunked off an alley-oop pass from Stu Douglass in
transition, then added a layup immediately after that to make it
65-54.

Hardaway scored 16 points, and Jordan Morgan scored 13 of his 15
in the second half. Morgan’s inside presence ensured that Michigan
wouldn’t have to rely on its surprisingly erratic outside shooting.
The Wolverines were 10 of 31 from 3-point range but had 25 assists
and only six turnovers against a Bradley team that played zone
defense.

”You don’t want to try to settle. That’s why they run the zone,
to try to get you out of your rhythm,” Morgan said. ”We really
played unselfish, took care of the ball.”

Trey Burke had 12 points and eight assists for the Wolverines,
and Zack Novak scored 11 points.

It was the second double-double in a row for Smotrycz, who had
17 points and 11 rebounds against Alabama A&M on Saturday.

Taylor Brown led Bradley with 17 points, including a 3-pointer
from about 35 feet on the final shot of the first half that tied
the game at 33.

The Braves had the first half’s other highlight too, a dunk by
Shayok Shayok that the Bradley freshman celebrated a little too
exuberantly. Shayok was called for a technical foul.

All 10 starters finished in double figures, but neither team’s
bench contributed much scoring. A 3-pointer by Douglass in the
first half accounted for all of Michigan’s scoring by
non-starters.

Bradley’s bench was scoreless until Jake Eastman made a
3-pointer late in the second to make it 75-66.

Walt Lemon Jr. scored 16 points for the Braves, and Shayok,
Jordan Prosser and Dyricus Simms-Edwards added 10 each.

The Wolverines shot only 35 percent from the field in the first
half of their final tuneup before starting Big Ten play next week
against Penn State. They finished at 46 percent.

Patrick Beilein said he plans to stick around Michigan for
Christmas with family.

”It was looking like it might’ve been a rough Christmas, when
we were giving them a run,” Patrick Beilein said. ”It’ll probably
be a better Christmas than if we would have beaten them, that’s for
sure.”

A few minutes later, down the hall in an interview room, John
Beilein said almost the exact same thing and drew a chorus of
laughs.

”I’m sure that we’ll have a better Christmas than we would have
had if he had beaten us, that’s for sure,” the Michigan coach
said. ”My mother raised me to be a tough guy – just win,
baby.”