Michigan pulls away in second half to beat Howard 76-58
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Derrick Walton scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half, and Michigan fought through a tough shooting night to beat Howard 76-58 on Friday.
The Wolverines went over five minutes without scoring at the beginning of the game, and they ended up shooting just 42 percent from the field. The Bison trailed 41-36 with under 12 minutes remaining in the game before Michigan pulled away.
Mark Donnal scored 12 points for Michigan, and Zak Irvin added 11.
Damon Collins scored 12 points for Howard, which was without guard James Daniel, the nation's leading scorer last season. He is expected to miss about another month with a high ankle sprain.
Free throws helped boost Michigan's margin in a foul-filled game. The Wolverines went 23 of 26 from the line, while Howard was just 14 of 29.
Michigan's scoreless stretch to open the game was finally broken when Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman made a couple 3-pointers. The Wolverines led 34-25 at halftime.
It was 41-36 when Howard's Solomon Mangham missed two free throws. Irvin made a jumper at the other end, and Michigan slowly began extending the lead. It was 49-38 after a 3-pointer by Irvin.
Howard: The Bison were picked to win the MEAC in a preseason poll of coaches and sports information directors, and they did a good job staying in the game against Michigan despite Daniel's absence.
Michigan: It wasn't the prettiest game, but perhaps that's not the worst thing for the Wolverines, who are trying to improve their defense this season and show they can grind out wins even when their offense isn't clicking.
Howard: The Bison take on Marquette on Monday night in Milwaukee. That game – along with the Howard-Michigan game – is part of the 2K Classic, which benefits Wounded Warrior Project.
Michigan: The Wolverines host IUPUI on Sunday in another 2K Classic game.