Nov. 21, 2013
San Juan, Puerto Rico - Long Beach State was able to cut No. 14 Michigan's lead to single-digits with a David Samuels breakaway dunk with 9:07 to play in the second half, but the Wolverines pulled away late in an 85-61 loss in in the first game of three for the 49ers in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Michigan (3-1) stormed out to a 6-0 lead on two three-pointers in the first minute, forcing Long Beach State (1-4) to attempt to dig out from a hole early in the contest. The 49ers would pull within three points at 17-14 following a bucket by Christian Griggs-Williams with 13:04 to play, but a 15-0 answering run by Michigan hurt the 49ers in the first half. Long Beach State pulled to within seven at 36-29 with three minutes to play, but went into the half down 13 points.
The 49ers continued to fight in the second half, pulling to within ten points at 61-52 following two straight baskets by Samuels. Michigan answered with a three from Nik Stauskas, who scored a game-high 24 points, and while the 49ers held the gap at 15 points past four minutes to play, the Wolverines pulled away late.
Strong shooting by Michigan proved to be the difference, as the Wolverines only outrebounded Long Beach State by four, but shot 53.4 percent from the field, including 66.7 percent in the second half, while setting a Puerto Rico Tip-Off record with 14 made three-pointers, hitting at a 46.7 percent clip.
A.J. Spencer and Mike Caffey tied for the team lead with 12 points each, while Branford Jones added a career-high 11 off of the bench. Dan Jennings was underneath his double-double average, but added seven points and led the 49ers with eight rebounds.
The 49ers continue their time in San Juan with another game tomorrow at 4:30 PT against the loser of the evening game between VCU and Florida State. That game will be broadcast live on ESPNU.
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