NCAA Basketball News
Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-5) at (20) Michigan (7-2)
Tuesday, December 13th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Crisler Arena (13,751) -- Ann Arbor, Michigan. Television: ESPN3com. Home Record: UAPB 0-0, Michigan 4-0. Away Record: UAPB 0-4, Michigan 0-1. Neutral Record: UAPB 1-2, Michigan 3-1. Conference Record: UAPB 0-0, Michigan 0-0. Series Record: Michigan leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The 20th-ranked Michigan Wolverines are set for what appears to be an obvious mismatch, as the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions have made their way to Ann Arbor.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff is just 1-5 overall this season and has lost all three of its true road games. The Golden Lions have been held to fewer than 60 points in all six of their games thus far, and they fell to Air Force on Saturday by a 63-51 final, the third consecutive loss for the squad.
As for Michigan, it has won its last two outings to move to 7-2 overall. The most recent outing for the Wolverines came on Saturday and resulted in a 90-80 decision over Oakland in Auburn Hills. Now they return home where they are 4-0 to date, as they continue to prepare for the start of Big Ten Conference play.
Michigan won its only previous meeting with Arkansas-Pine Bluff by 14 points in 2009.
The Golden Lions are members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and have yet to play a league game this season. Heading into the tilt with Air Force on Saturday, they were averaging just 52.4 ppg and were leaning heavily on the talents of Savalace Townsend (18.6 ppg), the only player on the roster netting more than 8.8 ppg. Against the Falcons, Townsend finished with a team-high 16 points, although his 3-of-12 shooting effort from the floor wasn't exactly impressive. Lazabian Jackson pitched in 13 points for UAPB, which shot 8-of-29 from the floor in the first half and trailed by nine points at intermission. The Golden Lions were marginally better offensively in the second half, but they permitted the Falcons to shoot 68.4 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes.
Tim Hardaway, Jr. is the top offensive performer for Michigan, as he is averaging 16.4 ppg. The only other double-digit scorer on the roster is Trey Burke, as he checks in with 12.2 ppg and a club-high 41 assists. The Wolverines are generating 70.3 ppg on 49.4 percent field goal efficiency, and they are limiting their opponents to 61.9 ppg on 40.9 percent overall shooting. Taking a look at Saturday's 10-point triumph over Oakland, Hardaway, Jr. connected on 5-of-9 three-pointers and tallied 21 points, while Burke posted 20 points and nine assists. Evan Smotrycz added 20 points and nine rebounds, while Stu Douglass contributed 13 points. The Wolverines shot a stellar 57.4 percent from the field in that affair, including a 15-of-28 effort from three-point range, and earned a 20-13 edge in points from the foul line.
Michigan will crush the Golden Lions tonight, as this game is an obvious mismatch. Expect the victory to be well in hand by intermission.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Michigan 89, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 60
12/13 10:40:24 ET