TUCSON — Having lost home games to N.J.I.T. and Eastern Michigan, John Beilein’s Michigan Wolverines arrived in Tucson hoping to turn thing around with a win over No. 3 Arizona. It goes without saying that there are far more optimal teams to face when looking to get back on the right track, and that’s exactly how Saturday’s game played out at McKale Center.
Sean Miller’s Wildcats took control of the game halfway through the first half and didn’t look back, coasting to an 80-53 victory that likely represents the low point of the season to date for the Wolverines. While one particular side of the floor can be pinpointed in each of Michigan’s prior two defeats, with defense being a problem against the Highlanders and the offense being so in their loss to the Eagles, everything went wrong against Arizona.
The Wildcats shot 58.2% from the field, making more than 70 percent of their two-point attempts, and scored 42 points in the paint in the win. Scoring-wise, Stanley Johnson led five Wildcats in double figures with 17 points. Add in a defense that limited Michigan to 35.2% shooting, and the end result is a thorough beating that wasn’t all that close after the eight minute mark of the first half.
Obviously Michigan has a lot to work on, and their struggles on both ends of the floor reveal that this current group of Wolverines needs more time than originally expected. As for Arizona, faced with a “wounded” opponent the Wildcats didn’t rest on their laurels. Sean Miller’s Wildcats took care of business Saturday, showing why they’re one of the top contenders for a national title.