ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Coppin State coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell isn’t afraid to put his team up against top competition. A game at No. 22 Michigan on Friday marked the 18th consecutive season his program has played a nationally-ranked team in its non-conference schedule.
What do the Eagles get out of it? Not much when the team loses 87-45 to the Wolverines.
“When you don’t play well or don’t compete, it doesn’t help you,” Mitchell said. “It does help you in the long run if you play competitive, but right now we’re still waiting to get some pluses out of this.”
The Eagles get another chance to build some confidence entering Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play when they travel to No. 11 Gonzaga on Sunday.
Playing without leading scorer Nik Stauskas, Michigan (5-2) found plenty of support.
Freshman Zak Irvin matched his career-high of 10 points by halftime, when Michigan led 42-23, and brought the Crisler Center crowd to its feet by connecting on three consecutive 3-point baskets for a 63-31 lead with 13:24 left to play.
He finished with 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 6-of-10 from 3-point range.
Caris LeVert added 15 points and Glenn Robinson III 14 points for Michigan (5-2). Dallas Gary came off the bench to score a team-high 11 points Coppin State (2-3).
Stauskas, averaging 20.3 points, was the Wolverines leading scorer in each of their last four games. He sprained his ankle during a 63-61 loss to Charlotte in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off championship game. His status for Michigan’s trip to No. 6 Duke on Tuesday, Dec. 3, is unknown.
With Stauskas on the bench, Michigan did welcome a pair of familiar faces back to its starting lineup. Preseason All-America selection Mitch McGary and senior Jordan Morgan made their first starts of the season.
McGary, who has been playing himself into game shape after a back injury kept him out of the team’s first two games of the season and much of the preseason, finished with six points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Morgan, who started 95 games in his first three seasons at Michigan, added six points and five rebounds.
Those two post players helped Michigan dominate the glass. The Wolverines pulled down 17 offensive rebounds compared to Coppin State’s 14 defensive rebounds.
Michigan was playing at home for the first time in 17 days following a four-game stretch that included a loss at Iowa State and the runner-up finish in Puerto Rico. Once the win was assured, Wolverines fans turned their attention to Saturday’s football rivalry game between Michigan and No. 3 Ohio State. A “Beat Ohio!” chant started with 3:44 left to play and Michigan leading 78-42.
The Wolverines made 51.6 percent (32-62) of its shots and was 13 of 14 from the free throw line. Coppin State, which has lost to a nationally ranked non-conference opponent in 18 consecutive seasons, made 34.8 percent (16-46) of its shots.
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