RALEIGH – The story for this one was simple – Michigan got hot, North Carolina State did not.
The Wolverines shot 50% from the field for the game, as opposed to an icy 32.8% from the Wolfpack, as UM defeated NCSU 66-59.
Caris Levert (18) and Duncan Robinson (17) led the Wolverines scoring attack and were the key contributors for coach John Beilein’s team.
Robinson was especially hot from behind the arc, going 5-7 from three-point range. In fact, Robinson hit more threes than the entire North Carolina State squad (4).
The Pack (4-3) played catch up the entire second half, and cut the lead to four, 50-46, with seven minutes remaining. But Robinson and Zak Irvin hit consecutive triples to push the lead back to 10 and NCSU never recovered, the closest they would get would be nine with 2:02 remaining.
Caleb Martin led State with 19 points. Cat Barber added 16.
“We had one of those nights where we just couldn’t get the ball in the basket,” NCSU coach Mark Gottfried said. “That’s on us. We had wide open shots and couldn’t make them. We had a lot of good looks and couldn’t put the ball in the basket.”
In the first half NCSU jumped out early on the Wolverines, going up 7-3 behind a good start from Barber, who hit his first two field goals. The Pack were clearly in control, then the Wolverines heated up, taking their first lead, 12-11, on a layup from Zak Irvin.
The final eight minutes was all Michigan, led by sharp shooter Duncan Robinson, who found his stroke from long range. Behind Robinson’s shooting, and Levert’s slashes to the basket, the Wolverines built a 10-point (28-18) first-half lead with less than four minutes remaining in the first half. Consecutive baskets by Barber cut the lead to six heading into intermission.
Game changer – North Carolina State had managed some momentum in the second half, pulling to within four, 50-46, after consecutive baskets from Barber. However, Michigan countered with back-to-back threes to push the advantage to 10 for the Wolverines.
Numbers don’t lie
8 – Number of different players who scored for the Wolverines.
5 – Triples hit by Michigan guard Duncan Robinson.
27.6% – NCSU’s woeful shooting percentage in the second half.
Caleb Martin, NCSU – Led the Pack with 19 points in 38 minutes.
Cat Barner, NCSU – Finished with 16 points and four assists.
Duncan Robinson, Michigan – Had 17 points for the Wolverines, shooting 5-7 from three.
What’s next? – NCSU host Bucknell on Saturday.
Quote of the day – “Maybe I should recruit some Division III players.” – NCSU coach Mark Gottfried when it was brought to his attention that Michigan’s Duncan Robinson was a DIII transfer.