Michigan opened Friday night’s tilt against Long Beach State in the same fun-and-gun style that they’ve shown all season. The Wolverines were more than happy to get out and run and match Long Beach State’s tempo and built an early 23-7 lead.
Dug McDaniel was hitting threes, the Wolverines looked to be in complete control, and it felt like another game destined for an 87-64 final score. Then Long Beach State hit a few shots, went to its 1-3-1 zone, and Michigan never looked completely comfortable again.
The Wolverines looked flustered against the zone — turning it over 15 times in the final 32 minutes of the game — and unraveled defensively. The Beach played its way back into the game with crucial shot-making late in the first half. They took control of the game in the second by capitalizing on Michigan’s defensive breakdowns: putbacks, back cuts, lackluster ball screen defense, missed assignments, and blow-by dunks.
Long Beach State shot 12-of-19 on dunks and layups in the second half, more than doubling their attempts at the basket (8) in the first half, and rebounded 41 percent of their second-half misses to score 1.24 points per possession and knock off the Wolverines in Ann Arbor.