November 11, 2018 / 3:05 AM / 7 days ago

No. 19 Michigan overcomes slow start to beat Holy Cross

Charles Matthews scored 20 points and No. 19 Michigan overcame a slow start to defeat visiting Holy Cross 56-37 on Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Ignas Brazdeikis supplied 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists and Isaiah Livers contributed seven points and 10 rebounds for the Wolverines.

Michigan (2-0) handed coach John Beilein his 800th career victory in a 63-44 season-opening win against Norfolk State on Tuesday. His 801st win was a product of the Wolverines’ strong defensive effort in the second half, as his team outscored the Crusaders 38-13.

Connor Niego led Holy Cross (1-1) with 13 points, all in the first half. Jacob Grandison added 12 points.

The Wolverines shot just 36 percent from the field but held the Crusaders to 30.8 percent shooting and out-rebounded them 39-31.

The programs were meeting for the first time since December of 2013, when the Wolverines posted an 88-66 home victory.

Holy Cross led 24-18 at the break. Matthews had 10 points for the cold-shooting Wolverines, who made just 20.8 percent of their field-goal attempts. The Crusaders slowed things to a crawl, as neither club had a fast-break point.

Niego hit a pair of 3-pointers during a 13-0 Crusaders spurt that gave them an 18-9 lead before Jordan Poole answered with a jumper.

Poole’s basket started a 7-0 Michigan run, but the Wolverines then went scoreless for nearly five minutes.

Michigan got into an offensive rhythm early in the second half and took command with a 15-0 run.

The Wolverines tied it at 30-30 on a Brazdeikis layup with 16:58 remaining. He proceeded to score the next six points on four free throws and a jumper.

A jumper by Livers finished off the outburst and made it 42-30. Matt Faw’s jumper finally ended the Holy Cross scoring drought, which lasted more than seven minutes.

—Field Level Media

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