The Michigan Wolverines, sparked by the hot hand of Duncan Robinson, defeated the Elon Phoenix at the Cristler Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In the 88-68 win, Zak Irvin made his first appearance since offseason back surgery.
Robinson scored every single shot he put on target, which helped him total 19 points. Five-of-six field goal attempts were from three-point range, while the sophomore added two free throws. The Phoenix (1-1) left him open several times in the corner.
"A lot of times it was just guys having to help on penetration and good offense in a lot of those cases," Robinson said. "Eyes get big sometimes when I can see the rim. My teammates believe in me, and Coach Beilein has a lot of support."
After the 2014-15 season for Derrick Walton Jr. ended in January, due to a sore foot, it seemed destined that the Wolverines (2-0) guard would struggle for the rest of his college career. On Monday, the guard proved that he is a different player than he showed last year with a career game for the Maize and Blue.
Walton played 30 minutes and scored a career-high 24 points on 6-for-7 from three-point range and 2-for-2 from the charity stripe. The junior chipped in seven assists, six rebounds and four steals in the victory over Elon.
"It goes back to my teammates, giving me the OK to be aggressive and trusting me to know when is the right shot for them and for me," Walton said.
"That hunting mentality is something that he has to have," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "Trey (Burke) was more of a scorer that played point guard, and Derrick is more of a point guard who can score. We keep getting him to be more aggressive, because you can see it's a beautiful jump shot."
Adding to the scoreboard was Caris LeVert with 11 points, seven assists and four rebounds, while Ricky Doyle scored eight points in the win.
Irvin finished 0-for-5 from the field through 15 minutes. It was the best sign for the Wolverines as they will ease him into the starters role after missing the offseason with back surgery in September.
"I felt really good," he said. "I was a little antsy, but I was just happy to be out there with my teammates. It's been awhile."
"I felt like it was my first college game all over again," Irvin said. "Once I got that first shot up, I felt pretty good."
Leading the way for Elon was Dainan Swoope, who scored a season-high 15 points. Dmitri Thompson chipped in 12 points.
The Phoenix will travel to play Syracuse, who are led by Michael Gbinije, on November 21. The Maize and Blue will stay at home as they play host to Xavier on November 20.