Dug McDaniel scored a career-high 26 points as Michigan seized control late in the first half and dominated the final 20 minutes of its 89-73 victory over host St. John’s in the Gavitt Tipoff Games on Monday night in New York.
Starting with Nimari Burnett’s 3-pointer in the late stages of the first half, the Wolverines (3-0) led for the final 26:09 and outscored St. John’s 60-42 the rest of the game.
McDaniel eclipsed his previous career high for the second straight game and made 8 of 16 shots. He also sank eight of Michigan’s 14 free throws, handed out seven assists and grabbed six rebounds.
Burnett added a career-high 21 points — all in the first half — to eclipse his previous career high of 18 set last season with Alabama against Jacksonville State. He made his first eight shots, was 8-of-13 and hit four of Michigan’s 11 3-pointers.
Terrance Williams II contributed 12 points and Will Tschetter finished with 10 as the Wolverines shot 51.6 percent and won their 11th straight at MSG.
Joel Soriano collected 15 and nine rebounds as his supporting cast struggled. Jordan Dingle and Daniss Jenkins added 10 apiece but the duo combined to shoot 8-of-22, while Chris Ledlum shot 1-of-7 as St. John’s (1-1) shot 36 percent and misfired on 18 of 27 3-point tries.
The Red Storm opened with a blistering pace before the first timeout but Michigan took a 20-18 lead on a dunk by Williams with 12:40 remaining. Burnett eclipsed his previous career best by hitting a 3 with 6:09 left to give Michigan a 32-31 lead and the Wolverines made their last five shots during an 11-3 run that staked them to a 48-38 lead by halftime.
Michigan continued surging ahead and scored eight straight to get a 60-43 lead with 14:39 left on a layup by Williams after he stole the ball from St. John’s freshman Simeon Wilcher. The Wolverines opened a 20-point lead when Tschetter’s backdoor dunk made it 66-46 with 11:16 left.
Two free throws by McDaniel following an intentional foul by Soriano plus a 3 by Williams extended the lead to 74-48 with 9:56 left to essentially finish it off, prompting rapper Fat Joe to leave his courtside seat and Michigan fans to chant “Free Jim Harbaugh” a few minutes later.
–Field Level Media
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