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No. 3 Michigan too much for West Virginia

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Trey Burke had 27 and Tim Hardaway Jr. 25 as No. 3 Michigan shot their way to an 81-66 victory over West Virginia at the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival Saturday night in New York.

The Mountaineers struggled to maintain consistency as the night at Barclays Center unfolded.

The undefeated Wolverines (11-0) were in control the entire first half, and although they began to slip in the second as the Mountaineers made a surge on offense, Michigan’s skilled playmakers kept them ahead all the way to the end.

Freshman Terry Henderson had a season-high 23 points for West Virginia, but two Michigan players who put up even bigger numbers overshadowed his offensive efforts. Michigan point guard Trey Burke racked up a season-best 27 points, 8 assists and committed no turnovers, while Tim Hardaway Jr. matched his season high with 25 points.

West Virginia had trouble settling in defensively right from the get go as Michigan started the game with an 11-2 run. The Mountaineers, playing with a perceptible lack of confidence, allowed the Wolverines to lead by as many as 17 points in the first half.

Despite a push from West Virginia in the form of a 12-2 run with three minutes left in the first half, cutting the Michigan lead to five, the Mountaineers couldn’t hang on to that energy for long. Henderson came up with some pivotal points, but a big three-pointer from Michigan’s Nik Stauskas shifted the momentum back in the Wolverine’s hands as the half ended with Michigan holding a comfortable 32-43 lead.

The Wolverines took their largest lead, 54-36, in the second half as the Mountaineer’s chances of making a comeback started to slide. West Virginia was able to cut the Michigan lead to single digits, coming within seven on a three-pointer from Henderson with 4:28 left on the clock, but the fatigued Mountaineers couldn’t sustain enough energy to defeat this quick Michigan team.

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