Although played 45 minutes away from Ann Arbor, it was technically a Michigan home game.
The Wolverines had more fans in the crowd, with about 75% of the 14,206 spectators who came to Little Caesars Arena wearing corn and blue, but they didn’t make any noise until late as East Michigan’s Emoni Bates stole the show.
But in the end, Michigan (2-0) stole the game and avoided upsetting it with an 88-83 win behind Hunter Dickinson with 31 points and seven rebounds and Terrance Williams II, who made his first double-double with 18 points. and 11 rebounds.
“You can learn a lot from a win, you don’t have to lose,” said coach Juwan Howard. “We knew it would be a running game coming in with such an atmosphere… We knew it would be a very competitive match that was expected.
“Our guys did an incredible job with mental stability. When the running was in East Michigan’s favor and we were down, we could easily have passed and we didn’t.”
Ypsilanti native and first five-star contender to play for a MAC team, Bates was transferred home after a disappointing first season and then struggled with legal trouble in the early fall – which he was suspended from and subsequently reinstated. a month later – he looked like an actor who had lifted the weight of the world off his shoulders.
He broke the team’s record with 30 points on 12 of 19 shots; His solo 17 points in the first half tied his college career to last season’s high at Memphis, as he looked so much like the actor on the cover of Sports Illustrated three years ago.
“There’s no doubt (he feels less pressure now),” East Michigan coach Stan Heath said. He wanted to come here because he felt at home, he felt comfortable, he felt connected to his teammates.
“All these things are important, fit is important. Players have to choose where they fit when choosing schools. He fits here, he feels very comfortable. I enjoy coaching him, I think he likes to play for me and play for his teammates.”
EMU led the majority of the second half, but with less than three minutes left, Llewellyn’s reverse layup gave UM a 79-77 lead and they weren’t going to give up. EMU (1-1) then reversed the ball, committing an entry violation. In that position, Llewellyn fired two free throws to extend the gap.
After a Bates miss, Llewellyn went to the hoop and missed, but Dickinson took a step back and was sixth to take the lead with 2:04.
With 1:27 to go, another EMU transfer, Tyson Acuff, laid the layup and committed Kobe Bufkin’s fifth foul. The free throw brought the lead to 83-80. But Llewellyn fired two free throws after the Bates foul to give Michigan a five-point lead—he finished with nine points, 7 out of 10 from the free throw line. A missed three point by Eastern Michigan and a final Dickinson oversight would have ended the sad attempt, even as Bates hit a hard 3-for with 9.3 seconds left.
“I was like, ‘damn,’ the last three he hit,” Dickinson later said. “It was a good race for me and he won, so I’m just glad they didn’t call fouls, I tried to race as much as I could.
“It was a really good shot, I was quite impressed with it.”
Bates turns back the clock
Bates recorded the first points of the game and hit a base jumper from a field pass to get the Eagles onto the board. Less than two minutes later, he converted a quick-break layup to put the Eagles in four.
The sophomore would enter a recession, commit a foul, miss two shots, and have two turnovers in the five minutes before he could breathe. But on the other side of the rest, he was the best player in the arena.
After an 11-0 run at Michigan, Bates hit 3 to close an 8-1 EMU increase to take a 22-21 lead. The Wolverines made a jump from the turnover, then brought the crowd to their feet with a thumping backlash on Tarris Reed Jr. of Michigan.
Bates, however, stared too long at Reed for a technical foul – Jett Howard missed both free throws. Minutes after a quick 4-0 sprint put Michigan ahead, Dug McDaniel was considered a tech for the taunt, and Bates missed both free throws.
Bates closed the first half with a long jumper with more than two minutes to play before leading the Eagles 43-38 by a contentious 30-yard three-pointer to score the game’s biggest score.
“I’ve seen this young man grow up since he was made public, I remember the best fourth grader in the country,” Howard said after a long post-game chat with Bates. earning. “However, I was like, ‘OK, who’s judging the best fourth grader in the country’ but you see him growing every year.
“He’s starting to be compared to Kevin Durant and that’s tough for any youngster, but make sure he appreciates how he works in his game and his skill set, so I’m not surprised by some of the shots he makes, because I’ve seen him shoot really hard.
Bates didn’t get the first bucket of the second half until 13:25, but continued with a hard one-handed hit to the next ball, giving EMU a three-point lead.
Their next point came with a stylish back pass from Orlando Lovejoy on a fast break that provided an easy layup for Bates. The sophomore would add another jumper and two free throws, giving the EMU a one-point advantage by playing more than four.
Bates missed consecutive three-pointers, one in game 77, another down EMU 81-77, and the Eagles never went back to four.
EMU’s Noah Farrakhan scored 19 points despite the foul problem in the second half, while Acuff was the other Eagle in double digits with 10 points.
Terrance Williams provides Hunter Dickinson water
The Wolverines are still trying to figure out how they got together. Just a starter (Dickinson) and two players (Williams) who averaged at least 15 minutes a season ago are returning.
Michigan found itself against the wall and went to the captains who were constantly finding answers. Dickinson was UM’s top scorer with 12 points in the first half, while Williams added eight points and seven rebounds at halftime, each playing even better in the final 20 minutes.
The two combined to score 16 of the team’s first 19 second-half points and 29 of the 46 overall points with a Dickinson and 1 to 11:44, giving Michigan the first lead, 61-60, because they were 36 ahead. -35 to 2:53 will play in the first half.
“Me and Hunter definitely took that into account,” Williams said. “Coach looks after us when there are tough times, it’s because we were halfway through, so we needed to go out and bring energy as leaders, and I feel like we did it.”
After a 4-0 move by the Eagles, Dickinson was back in business. Junior hit a jumper and layup to keep the Wolverines together. His next buck, a comeback with less than five minutes left, ended a 5-0 move that put Michigan back in the lead.
“I think there was a stretch in the second half when we were up front, they had a run and they basically hit Hunter,” said Eastern Michigan coach Stan Heath. “Hunter Dickinson is a problem, this guy is a burden, he can score in different ways.
“We tried to give him different looks, double suits, single protection, you know sagging, lagging behind, all those different things but it’s kind of choosing your poison status because if you go over it too much, there are other guys who can shoot.”
The match ended in a draw 11 times and there were 17 lead changes, but Dickinson proved too much. After the first half, he played an excellent second half basketball, scoring 8/8 from the court and 3 to 3 to 19 from the free throw line.
“I think I’m the toughest and toughest person in Hunter because I always expect more,” Howard said. “But give him credit, he doesn’t care if I challenge him, he doesn’t mind getting coaching, and he enjoys going out there and competing.”
Contact Tony Garcia at email@example.com. follow him on twitter @realtonygarcia.
This article was originally published in the Detroit Free Press: Michigan basketball, Survived by Emoni Bates, Eastern Michigan, 88-83, LCA