Mo Wagner double-double leads Michigan basketball past UC-Riverside, 87-42
By CHRIS NELSEN
ANN ARBOR — Coming off three games in Hawaii and playing its fourth game in seven days, Michigan coach John Beilein warned his team of UC Riverside’s upset potential.
Clearly, his message was heard.
Moritz Wagner had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Charles Matthews added 17 points and 12 assists to help the Wolverines cruise past Riverside 87-42 on Sunday.
Michigan (6-1), which shot 54 percent against the Highlanders and raced to a 41-17 halftime lead, didn’t seem fatigued after going 2-1 at the Maui Invite, a trip capped by the Wolverines’ 68-60 win over VCU.
“It’s definitely tough on the body, but you have to stay mentally tough,” Matthews said. “You have to tap into another level.”
Things only get harder for Michigan, which plays at No. 9 North Carolina on Wednesday in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Wolverines then face Indiana, Ohio State, UCLA and Texas.
“Now, we go into an incredible stretch that I’ve never seen before, Michigan may have never seen before, especially in December,” Beilein said.
Chance Murray finished with eight points and four rebounds, while Alex Larsson scored seven for Riverside (2-3), which shot 27 percent in the opening half and 30 percent for the game.
The Wolverines used a 15-0 run in the first half to take control. Duncan Robinson’s 3-pointer gave Michigan a 41-12 advantage with three minutes left.
Not slowing down after the break, the Wolverines pushed the lead to 56-21 after consecutive 3-pointers from Wagner and Eli Brooks.
Robinson scored 13 for the Wolverines.