Duncan Robinson started the game 0-for-4 from three-point range, but made his next five three-pointers to help bring the Michigan Wolverines to an 82-57 victory over the Houston Baptist Huskies at the Crisler Center on Saturday.
Robinson, who is a redshirt sophomore, finished the game with a season-high 19 points and he tied his season-high in triples with five in the victory for the Wolverines (6-2). Robinson stepped up to help with the loss of injured point guard Derrick Walton Jr., who did not play with a sprained left ankle.
"Everyone keeps telling me to keep shooting, even if I'm missing," Robinson said. "Today, even the parking-lot attendant reminded me to keep taking my shot. So I kept going and they finally started drawing."
"A year ago, Duncan was sitting out his transfer year, and Aubrey has added so much to his game from back then," Caris LeVert said regarding Robinson and Aubrey Dawkins, who scored 16 points. "That helps a lot."
The loss of the former starting point guard gave LeVert the chance to bring the ball up the floor, which he did very well. The Huskies defense could not hang with the guard as they gave up the first five points of the game to the senior guard.
LeVert scored 14 in the first half to help the struggling offense. Once the second half rolled around, the entire team got hot and the senior cruised to 11 second half points. As the point guard, he finished with one assist.
"This is a tough adjustment for me," he said. "I've played part of one game at point guard in college, and I'm not used to it. I made a couple bad decisions early, and we missed some shots, so we decided to just play my normal game."
The Huskies (2-6) came closest with back-to-back three-pointers to cut the Wolverines lead to 26-24 in the first half, but a three from LeVert ended the run. Minutes later, the lead was back to double-digits after Robinson drilled a three-pointer.
"That shows you the power of the 3-pointer in college basketball," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "They hit a few to narrow the gap, and then we hit a couple to make it a 10-point game again."
Anthony Odunsi led the way for the Huskies with 15 points, four assists and four rebounds. Reveal Chukwujekwu, a guard, only scored five points, but added 10 rebounds and two assists. The two were not enough as Michigan shot 11-for-23 (47.8%) from downtown and won the rebounding game, 33-29.
Last season, Michigan came off the Big Ten/ACC Challenge game with an embarrassing loss to the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Highlanders. This season, the Maize and Blue took it to the Huskies with an 82-75 victory after defeating the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the 2015 Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
"We weren't mentally ready for that game," Beilein said regarding the 72-70 loss - NJIT last season. "We had a couple guys banged up and we didn't respond well. Give NJIT credit -- they turned out to be a good team -- but we were more ready this year."
The Huskies have played the Wolverines three times in the previous six seasons, all ending in a loss. Michigan won 77-55 in 2009 and 107-53 in 2013 and now 82-57 in 2015.
On Tuesday, Michigan will hit the road to battle the No. 22 SMU Mustangs (6-0). The status of Walton Jr. for the game against SMU is unknown, but he will be back at some point during December for the Maize and Blue. Houston Baptist will wait until Saturday to face the Arlington Baptist Patriots, a Division II opponent.