Michigan welcomed Central Michigan to the Crisler Center for the final game of 2022 in what was expected to be a little bit of a tune-up game so to speak for Michigan. However, the Chippewas didn’t treat it as such.
Central Michigan fought hard and guard Reggie Bass drilled a game-winning 3-pointer with 11 seconds left to pull off the upset.
The Wolverines struggled to gather any momentum on the offensive side of the ball. Hunter Dickinson wasn’t his normal self, and Terrance Williams was kept quiet as well.
Michigan’s sluggish start turned out to carry throughout the entire game. The Wolverines scored just 28 points in the first half. Jett Howard and Dug McDaniel led the way in the first half with nine and eight points, respectively, but Michigan wasn’t able to pull away from the Chippewas.
Dickinson and Williams, two junior leaders, combined for just five points on 2-7 shooting in the first half, which isn’t going to win the Wolverines many games.
Kobe Bufkin also had a slow start, but the sophomore picked things up in the second half.
While Howard and McDaniel carried the load for the Wolverines in the first half, the two freshmen were much less efficient in the second half. Howard did not attempt a two-point shot in the second half, but he hoisted eight balls from beyond the arc, and only one found the bottom of the net.
McDaniel was held to two points in the second half, and both of those came at the free throw line. He missed all three of his second-half shots from the floor.
Bufkin nearly single-handedly carried Michigan to victory with an outstanding second-half performance. The 6-foot-4 guard had 14 points in the second half on 5-10 shooting.
The sophomore has made tremendous strides in the late stages of 2022, and he is one of the few bright spots on a Michigan team that has struggled to say the least so far this season.
The Wolverines now sit at 7-5 on the year with bad losses to Central Michigan and Arizona State, including close wins against Ohio, Jackson State and Eastern Michigan.
The two-point loss marks the seventh of Michigan’s last eight games in which the game was decided by 10 points or fewer. The only game during that stretch that was decided by more than 10 points was the 87-62 blowout loss at the hands of Arizona State.
As the calendar flips to 2023, Michigan will look for a fresh start. It all starts on New Year’s Day when the Wolverines host Maryland in the second Big Ten game of the year.
The battle between the Wolverines and Terrapins is set to tip off at 4:30 and will be broadcast on FS1.
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