Bison battle Wolverines in Legends Classic melee

Nov 17, 2014 - 4:07 PM Ann Arbor, MI ( - A pair of 1-0 teams get together on Monday night, as the Bucknell Bison pay a visit to the Michigan Wolverines as part the Legends Classic.

Bucknell slipped past visiting Marist in Friday's season opener, 75-72, setting the team up to possibly start 2-0 for the first time since 2012-13. A win in this clash for a Bison squad that calls the Patriot League home, would be its fourth straight on the road, dating back to last season, and mark the third straight season that it would have topped a team from the Big Ten Conference (Purdue 2012-13, Penn State 2013-14).

As for Michigan, which won its first outright Big Ten title in nearly three decades and advanced to the Elite Eight in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, it opened the new campaign on Saturday with a 92-68 thumping of Division II foe Hillsdale College. As perhaps easy as the first few games are, the Wolverines' non-conference schedule figures to pick up considerably, as bouts against VCU or Villanova (Legends Classic in Brooklyn, NY), Syracuse, Arizona and SMU loom large on the horizon.

This matchup marks the first meeting between Bucknell and Michigan in men's basketball.

Bucknell had five players score in double figure in Friday's opener, led by Dom Hoffman who tallied 14 points to go with nine rebounds. John Azzinaro scored 13 points and grabbed six boards, while J.C. Show added 12 points, D.J. MacLeay 11 and Steven Kaspar 10 for the Bison who only committed seven turnovers in the game.

BU made good on just 41.7 percent of its field goal attempts, while allowing the Red Foxes to connect on 12-of-28 3-point tries (.429). Marist converted all 12 of its free throws, while the Bison went 18-of-24 at the stripe. The key to the game was Bucknell's 41-29 rebounding advantage, as well as its 28-16 edge in points in the paint, and 38-5 domination in bench points.

Michigan saw three players score at least 20 points, the first time that's happened at the school since Dec. 10, 2011, in Saturday's rout of Hillsdale. Derrick Walton poured in a career-high 22 points, and he also dished out four assists. He was joined in the offensive barrage by Zak Irvin and Caris LeVert, who tallied 21 and 20 points, respectively. LeVert actually came within one assist and two rebounds of notching a triple-double. The Wolverines were credited with 11 steals, with Kameron Chatman logging four of them.

From an efficiency standpoint, the Wolverines shot 51.7 percent from the field and went 11-of-19 (.579) from beyond the arc, while the Chargers, who simply lacked the overall and talent needed to keep pace with the Maize and Blue, connected on 46.6 percent of their total shots, including 10-of-23 3-point tries. UM was guilty of only six turnovers, and it went 21-of-25 at the free- throw line, compared to a 4-of-5 showing by Hillsdale. The Wolverines outscored their overmatched opponent off turnovers, 25-0, and out on the break, 13-0.

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