PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — Isaiah Livers had 17 points and Michigan shot 58% for the game to overcome a turnover-heavy performance and beat Iowa State 83-76 in Wednesday’s opening game at the Battle 4 Atlantis.
The Wolverines (5-0) committed 22 turnovers, including several coming down the stretch as the Cyclones (3-2) tried to claw their way back from a 15-point deficit in the final 8 minutes.
David DeJulius had a career-high 14 points for Michigan, while Zavier Simpson finished with 10 points, a tournament-record 13 assists and seven rebounds.
Iowa State pulled to within 80-74 in the final minute, but got no closer. Still, it wasn’t the first time Michigan has had trouble closing out a game with a big lead; the Wolverines let a 30-point margin slip all the way to five in the final minute against Appalachian State in the season opener.
The Cyclones converted those turnovers into 29 points but couldn’t keep up as the Wolverines’ offense kept knocking down shots.
Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton entered the game as the nation’s assists leader, but this time the pass-first point guard carried the offense for the Cyclones with a career-high 25 points to go with nine rebounds and five assists.
Iowa State: The Cyclones are off to a bad start from 3-point range this season. They’ve made just 28 of 103 (27.2%) through their first four games, then got off to another bad start from outside in this one. Iowa State missed eight of its first 10 tries from behind the arc, and those were magnified as Michigan’s offense hummed right along. Iowa State trailed by 14 by the time they started knocking a few down midway through the second half. They made just 5 of 21 for the game.
Michigan: The Wolverines are a month into a season of change, from coach Juwan Howard taking over when John Beilein left for the NBA to losing top scorers Charles Matthews, Jordan Poole and Ignas Brazdeikis. But with guys like Livers and Simpson back, there’s plenty of experience to work with at the helm of a deep rotation that had 10 players score and five hit double-figures.
Iowa State: The Cyclones moved to the losers’ bracket to face the Alabama-North Carolina loser on Thursday.
Michigan: The Wolverines advanced to the winners’ bracket to face the Alabama-North Carolina winner on Thursday.
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap
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