By The Numbers: Michigan 96, Mantova 76

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Michigan was finally challenged in its final game in Italy, but eventually prevailed with a comfortable win over the Mantova Stings. U-M released a box score (compiled by hand) and since the game wasn’t streamed, here are some statistical observations and notes from the box score including our traditional Four Factors graph.

Michigan pulled away down the stretch after allowing Mantova to hang around for much of the first half. It appears that Michigan’s problems were largely on defense in the first half, before it was able to tighten down and lock up in the fourth quarter.

Mantova scored 52 points in the second and third quarters combined, but Michigan held the Stings to just 10 points in the fourth. Judging by the box score, that might have been because Mantova finally went cold from long range after attempting 46% of its shots from long range.

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Box ScoreClick to view the full Michigan box score

Michigan’s offense coasted through another game despite the longer three-point line and shorter shot clock in FIBA play. The Wolverines shot 58% on twos and 42% on threes for a 59.7 eFG%, continuing their impressive offensive week in Italy. Uncharacteristically, Michigan was also dominant on the glass. Michigan rebounded nearly half of its missed shots, while only allowing the Stings to rebound a quarter of their misses.

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Michigan beats Mantova Stings to finish Italian tour undefeated

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Michigan faced a better team on Friday, but still pulled away with another exhibition victory. The Wolverines knocked off the Mantova Stings, 96-76, and will leave Italy with a perfect record.

Mantova was able to hang around throughout much of the first half and the Wolverines led just 48-43 at the half. The Stings even managed to take the lead, 49-48, early in the third quarter.

“Every game has helped us in different ways,” John Beilein said after the game. “These games are not about the score, but experiencing playing basketball with a team like we have right now. As we went through the games, we saw new things that we have to learn. Today we played a very experienced team; they had a plan. They haven’t been practicing a lot, but the things that they ran are a part of European basketball everywhere. They picked us apart at times, however we scored some points, too.”

The Wolverines had outscored their first three Italian opponents by an average of 43 points per game, but the Stings, recently promoted to the second division of Italian basketball, were the best team that Michigan faced in Italy. The Wolverines outlasted Mantova down the stretch with a 32-12 run and outscored their Italian opposition 23-10 in the final quarter of the game.

“They were up in the second half, so we had to turn up the defensive intensity,” Caris LeVert said. “We knocked down some shots in the third and fourth quarters, so that was big for us. Off the bench, Muhammad really played well when I was in foul trouble, so that was huge for us.”

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Video: Austin Hatch featured on The Today Show

Austin Hatch was featured NBC’s “The Today Show” this morning, participating in an interview with Maria Shriver. Watch Hatch’s powerful interview in the embedded media player below.

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Michigan B1G Championship-10
Dustin Johnston

Michigan’s 2014-15 schedule was finalized today as the Big Ten formally announced the conference schedule.

The Wolverines will open Big Ten play on December 30th at home against Illinois. Michigan will host back-to-back marquee home games in February when Michigan State and Ohio State travel to Crisler Center on February 17th and 22nd respectively.

Due to the Big Ten’s expansion to 14 teams, Michigan will only play five teams – Illinois, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State and Rutgers – twice during conference play. The Wolverines will have home single plays against Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin and road single plays against Indiana, Maryland, Penn State and Purdue.

Michigan’s non-conference schedule is highlighted by the Legends Classic in Brooklyn (games against Oregon and either VCU or Villanova), a road game at Arizona and home contests against Syracuse and SMU. Find Michigan’s full schedule after the jump. [click to continue…]

Video: Michigan vs. Vicenza All-Stars Highlights

Here are highlights from Michigan’s second exhibition game in Italy against the Vicenza All-Stars. Special thanks to Jeffery Kind for passing along the footage from overseas.

More Italy 2014 Coverage

Video: Michigan vs. Petrarca Padova Highlights

Here are highlights from Michigan’s third exhibition win in Italy against Petrarca Padova. Special thanks to Jeffery Kind for passing along the footage from Italy.

More Italy 2014 Coverage
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