No. 18 Michigan routs GW in Tip-Off tournament
(AP Photo/Stephen Dunn)
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) - Michigan coach John Beilein was concerned his Wolverines might suffer a letdown against George Washington after a blowout victory over No. 8 Villanova on the road.
There was still a tinge of worry during the first half of Saturday's semifinal of the Air Force Reserve Tip-Off tournament when GW (0-4) cut an 18-point Wolverine lead to six.
But No. 18 Michigan (4-0), which led by nine points at halftime, went on a 13-2 run to open the second half and finished with an easy 84-61 victory over the Colonials.
"A lot of the message after the Villanova game was handling success," Beilein said. "Some kids struggle with that. It's very natural. Michigan is not going to fall into that trap."
Charles Matthews led the Wolverines with 25 points and Jordan Poole made five of his eight 3-point shots to add a career-high 22. Zavier Simpson finished two assists shy of a triple-double with 14 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
Poole had made just one 3-pointer on 10 attempts coming into the game and was shooting just over 23 percent from the field. He hit his first three shots and finished 7 of 12 from the floor. The sophomore guard insisted that nothing had changed with his shot, but Simpson said he noticed a difference.
"Me and Jordan were having a little contest before the game," Simpson said. "We were basically bragging with each other how our shot was feeling good today. So I'm not sure what he was talking about feeling normal. Then he knocked the first one down. That was kind of like, `I told you so.'"
Michigan, which gave up just 46 points in its 27-point victory at Villanova on Wednesday, held the Colonials to 39 percent shooting and outscored GW 17-2 on the fast break.
D.J. Williams had 16 points to lead George Washington, which lost its second straight game to a ranked opponent after falling by 19 points at No. 4 Virginia last Sunday.
"We're a work in progress," GW coach Maurice Joseph said. "The last two games, playing quality opponents, is something we can look back to in conference play and I think we'll be more battled tested. It's never fun taking these losses. But I believe our guys will grow from these opportunities."
The Wolverines play Providence in Sunday's championship game.
Updated November 17, 2018