Michigan responded from a loss in its Big Ten home opener with a 37-point thumping of Southern Utah on Saturday.
The Wolverines will try to keep their improved play going when they play Purdue Fort Wayne in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Tuesday night.
Michigan (7-4, 1-1 Big Ten) led by 29 points at halftime of the 87-50 victory. The Wolverines shot 63.6 percent from the field over the first 20 minutes.
A week earlier, the Wolverines lost to Minnesota 75-65 when they were outscored 43-29 in the second half.
“They came in Monday with a lot of energy, and they were razor-sharp with their focus,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. “No one came in with a head down. Everyone was eyes open, ears perking.
“No one felt good after Saturday’s loss. When you see your team come in and respond the way they did on practice on Monday, but then also consistently brought it again on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, that’s the Michigan team I know. And we’re going to need that.”
Center Hunter Dickinson led the way with 22 points on 11-for-15 shooting and also grabbed 10 rebounds in 28 minutes.
“It’s nothing I haven’t seen before,” Howard said. “He got the ball in spots where he was able to be efficient by making quick moves. He also was aggressive, too, whether it was spinning to the basket to finish over top of defenders or when he caught the ball in low post by staying low and taking his time. He also shot jumpers when it was given to him. It was a great balanced game for Hunter.”
Defensively, the Wolverines held Southern Utah to 32.8 percent shooting and converted 12 turnovers into 16 points.
The Mastadons (5-5, 1-1 Horizon) haven’t played since Dec. 11, when they downed Southeast Missouri State 78-65.
“I was proud of our energy and our effort out there and the consistency we had,” coach Jon Coffman said. “It started on the defensive end.”
The Mastadons are led by Jarred Godfrey (17.7 points per game, 4.4 assists).
Michigan defeated Purdue Fort Wayne 91-62 in 2001 in the teams’ only previous meeting.
–Field Level Media