Nov. 18, 2016
» Derrick Walton Jr. posted a game-high 23 points, including a career-high seven three pointers, to lead three players in double figures -- Zak Irvin (16) and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (12).
» Michigan never trailed in the game and led by as many as 29 points late in the second half.
» Zak Irvin was named the 2K Classic Championship Round MVP after scoring 16 points in both the semifinal and championship games, while Derrick Walton Jr. and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman also joined him on the all-tournament team.
Site: New York, N.Y. (Madison Square Garden)
Event: 2K Classic Championship Round
Score: Michigan 76, SMU 54
Records: U-M (4-0), SMU (3-1)
Next U-M Event: Wednesday, Nov. 23 -- at South Carolina (Columbia, S.C.), 5 p.m. [ TV: ESPNU ]
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Behind a game-high 23 points from Derrick Walton Jr., the University of Michigan men's basketball team dominated SMU, 76-54, to win the 2K Classic championship on Friday night (Nov. 18) inside Madison Square Garden.
Walton hit a career-high seven three-pointers -- more than half of Michigan's 13 triples on the night (13-for-31, 42 percent). Zak Irvin joined him in double figures and also added six rebounds, while Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman added 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Walton (6) and Irvin (5) combined for 11 of Michigan's 16 assists, as 60 percent (16-of-27) of U-M's field goals were assisted.
The Wolverines turned the ball of just four times on the night while forcing the Mustangs into 12 turnovers. As a team, Michigan shot better than 50 percent in both games in New York, hitting 53 percent (27-of-51) of its shots tonight.
Walton got the Wolverines going early, as he hit three shots from behind the arc in the first four minutes of the game to give Michigan a nine-point lead, 13-4, at 16:09. Balanced scoring over the next 10 minutes helped U-M maintain a steady 10-point advantage until triples from Walton and Mark Donnal sandwiched a rim-rocking dunk from D.J. Wilson to put U-M up, 35-19, with 6:20 remaining in the opening half.
Michigan's defense held SMU to just 25 first-half points, as its pressure on the perimeter and length inside made it difficult for the Mustangs to score, and the Wolverines led 44-25 at the halftime break.
Out of the locker room, SMU converted the first two buckets of the second half to cut U-M's lead to 15, but that is as close as the Mustangs came. Walton (9), Irvin (9) and Abdur-Rahkman (7) took over the majority of the second half on the offensive end, scoring Michigan's first 25 points to give U-M a 69-44 lead with 6:57 left to play. After having four threes in the first half, Walton hit three more during that stretch to reach a career-high seven. Duncan Robinson and Irvin then converted a pair of free throws to give the Maize and Blue its largest lead of 29 points, 73-44, at the 5:20 mark.
Down the stretch, several Michigan players saw valuable playing time off the bench. Overall, 13 Wolverines saw game action tonight, with 10 contributing to the point column.
Following the championship victory, Irvin was named the 2K Classic MVP, after scoring 16 points in both the semifinal and championship games, while Walton and Abdur-Rahkman also joined him on the all-tournament team.
Under head coach John Beilein, Michigan is now 6-1 in games played in New York, New York. The last time Michigan won a regular-season tournament occurred in New York City, as Michigan defeated Pittsburgh (67-62) and Kansas State (71-57) in the 2012 NIT Season Tip-Off.
When the Wolverines return from NYC, they will waste little time heading back out on the road. U-M will play at South Carolina in the Colonial Life Arena on Wednesday (Nov. 23) at 5 p.m. on ESPNU.
-- MSG (@TheGarden) November 19, 2016
Communications Contact: Tom Wywrot