No. 3 Michigan beats Arkansas for 9-0 start
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Arkansas has played perhaps the toughest stretch of games in college basketball the last two weeks.
If the Razorbacks still have some confidence, they should benefit from the experience.
Marshawn Powell had 18 points and that was not nearly enough to prevent No. 3 Michigan from pulling away to beat Arkansas 80-67 Saturday.
The Razorbacks (4-4) have won only one of their last five games — beating Oklahoma 81-78 earlier in the week — but that’s understandable because they faced Syracuse, Wisconsin and Arizona State.
“I told our guys, whether it was a justice or an injustice, I put them through a tough stretch,” coach Mike Anderson said. “There are not many teams playing the teams we’re playing.”
The Wolverines (9-0) are off to their best start since they won the first 11 games of the 1988-89 season, when they went on to win the program’s only national title.
Michigan led by as much as 13 point in the first half, but couldn’t put away Arkansas until late in the game.
The Razorbacks opened the second half with an 11-2 run to pull within two points and trailed 56-55 with 8:58 left. The Wolverines went on a 10-2 run and coasted to the win, John Beilein’s 100th in six seasons at the school.
“I thought our guys battled,” Anderson said. “Our guys had a chance to go away and they didn’t.”
Arkansas’ leading scorer, BJ Young, scored all nine of his points in the first half before being held scoreless in 13 minutes of the second half when he appeared to have a leg injury.
“He might have a bruise,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. “I don’t think it was just a cramp, he got popped.”
Razorbacks reserve Kikko Haydar had a career-high 13 points, Hunter Mickelson scored 10 and Rickey Scott had 10 points off the bench.
Beilein said he didn’t know who Haydar was and that made sense because the junior guard had scored six points in six games this season and 31 in his career.
“I thought he walked in off the street,” Beilein said. “What a great story, a walk-on, playing on CBS TV, and he accounted for 13 of their points. He was a bit of a difference-maker for a while.”
The Wolverines got off to a slow start, leading by only one point before an 8-0 run gave them a 22-11 lead. They led 42-32 at halftime with a balance of points in the paint and shots from the outside.
Arkansas made a push to keep the game close in the first half of the second half, but couldn’t make enough shots or stops to take its only lead of the game.
“I thought there was a period there where we had a chance to take advantage when they got tired and fatigued,” Anderson said. “It was disrupting what they wanted to do because our guys really got after it, our pressure was effective.
“I saw our team grow up, these guys have played some pretty good basketball teams in this five-game stretch.”
Michigan’s entire starting lineup scored in double figures. Glenn Robinson III scored 17, Trey Burke had 16 points and seven assists, Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 14 and Nik Stauskas added 12.
“That’s a tough team, especially inside,” Powell said. “They didn’t have that presence last year when we beat them, but Morgan adds a lot.”