Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead No. 4 Michigan to the Preseason NIT title Friday with a 71-57 win over Kansas State at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Michigan (5-0) was able to carry momentum into the break and sustain it to start the second half. Leading 27-24 late in the first, the Wolverines used a 24-6 spurt to open their cushion to 21 points midway through the second half. Michigan hit 53 percent of its field goals (29-of-55). The Wolverines also got solid contributions from Nik Stauskas and Trey Burke, who each scored 10. Angel Rodriguez scored 10 points, yanked down five rebounds, and contributed seven assists for Kansas State (5-1) in a losing effort.
The Wildcats had trouble finding their touch, shooting just 37 percent (22-of-60) from the field. Kansas State also got a double-digit effort from Rodney McGruder, who scored 16.
Michigan won the rebounding battle en route to victory, pulling down 39 boards to 26 for the Wildcats. The Wolverines never trailed in the game. Michigan’s largest lead was 21, which came in the middle of the second half. The win for the Wolverines breaks Kansas State’s five-game winning streak.
HALFTIME: Tim Hardaway Jr. has 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting to lead No. 4 Michigan to a 29-24 lead over Kansas State at the end of the first half. The Wolverines never trailed in the first half and led by as many as 10 points.
Through 20 minutes of action, a major weapon for Michigan has been shut down, as the Wildcats have kept Trey Burke in check. The sophomore enters halftime with zero points, well below his season average of 18. The Wolverines have been effective inside, making 10-of-18 two-point field goals, but Michigan has struggled on the perimeter, shooting 1-for-5 from three-point range.
Kansas State demonstrated its offensive efficiency by racking up five assists on eight baskets. Kansas State got points from eight different players.
The Wildcats’ Nino Williams already has four points and three rebounds.
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