Wolverines Falter at South Carolina in First True Road Test

Nov. 23, 2016

What You Need to Know
» In its first true road game of the season, Michigan suffered its first loss of the season after shooting just 19 percent (10-for-52) from the field.
» Derrick Walton Jr. posted a team-high 15 points, and Mark Donnal added 10 to lead the Wolverines.
» Michigan scored 24 of its 46 points from the free throw line, converting 24 of its 32 attempts from the charity stripe.

Box Score

Site: Columbia, S.C. (Colonial Life Arena)
Score: South Carolina 61, #25 Michigan 46
Records: U-M (4-1), USC (5-0)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Nov. 26 -- vs. Mount St. Mary's (Crisler Center), 7 p.m. [ TV: ESPN3 ]

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- In its first true road game of the 2016-17 season, the University of Michigan men's basketball team (No. 25 AP, No. 24 ESPN/USA Today) suffered its first loss of the season against South Carolina, 61-46, on Wednesday night (Nov. 23) inside Colonial Life Arena.

The Wolverines shot just 19 percent (10-for-52) from the field, including 2-for-26 from behind the arc. U-M got 24 of its 46 points from the free throw line, hitting 24 of its 32 attempts. Derrick Walton Jr. led U-M with 15 points, including 7-for-8 shooting from the charity stripe, while Mark Donnal added 10 points, with eight coming from the free throw line (8-for-9). The Wolverines, which were leading the nation in free throw shooting percentage coming into tonight's contest, are 88-for-107 (82 percent) from the line this season.

South Carolina scored the first two buckets of the game and built an eight-point lead, 13-5, by the 15:16 mark. A Walton three-pointer and two pairs of three throws from Donnal brought the Wolverines right back to within one, 13-12, with 12:21 left in the opening stanza.

The game remained close over the next six minutes, as neither team led by more than three points. During that stretch, Walton gave Michigan its first lead of the night, 18-17, on a free throw at 9:25, and then D.J. Wilson had an offensive rebound and a put-back at 8:40 to make it 20-17. That proved to be U-M's largest lead of the night, as the Gamecocks outscored the Wolverines 11-4 during the final 6:30 of the first half, with Zak Irvin converting U-M's only field goal during that stretch.

South Carolina led, 33-27, at the break after shooting 42 percent (13-for-31) from the field, while the Wolverines hit 25 percent of their attempts (6-for-24). In the first half alone, 14 of Michigan's 27 points came from the free throw line, as the Wolverines were 14-for-18 from the charity stripe.

After the break, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman hit the first field goal of the second half, and then South Carolina scored the next six points to take a 10-point lead, 39-29, at the 14:48 mark. Abdur-Rahkman responded with an old-fashioned three-point play to make it a seven-point game at 14:29, before the Wolverines hit a scoring drought, going nearly seven minutes without a field goal. Donnal ended the dry spell with a three-point play with 7:33 left in the game to make it an 11-point game, 51-40.

South Carolina eventually built its largest lead of the game, 59-43, with 3:07 left on the clock. Walton hit U-M's second three-pointer and final field goal of the night at 1:54, and the Gamecocks went on to earn the 15-point victory, 61-46, to stay unbeaten at 5-0.

South Carolina outscored the Wolverines 36-8 on points in the paint and held a slight 40-36 advantage in rebounds.

The Wolverines will now return home to host Mount St. Mary's on Saturday (Nov. 26) at 7 p.m. inside Crisler Center. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3. [ Tickets ]

Communications Contact: Tom Wywrot

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