ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Caris LeVert made his first five 3-point attempts, and No. 7 Michigan had a terrific night from beyond the arc, breezing to a 93-59 victory over South Carolina State on Tuesday night.
LeVert finished with 24 points, going 6 of 7 from long distance. Nik Stauskas added 23 points – he was 5 of 6 from 3-point range. Both sophomores set career highs in scoring.
The Wolverines (2-0) were again without star big man Mitch McGary, who has been out with a back problem.
Jordan Smith scored 19 points for South Carolina State (1-2).
Michigan, which scored only 69 points in a season-opening win over UMass-Lowell last week, led 59-23 at halftime Tuesday after going 12 of 19 from 3-point range. The Wolverines finished 15 of 28 from beyond the arc.
LeVert was a role player for last season’s Final Four team, coming off the bench to provide an occasional lift defensively with his wiry 6-foot-6 frame. He’s started the first two games this month and been much more aggressive at the offensive end.
LeVert scored 17 points in the opener, and he matched that in the first half against South Carolina State. LeVert made five 3-pointers in the first 8:18, helping Michigan to a 27-10 lead. Glenn Robinson III dunked along the baseline moments later, and the Wolverines were never really threatened.
Stauskas was outstanding as well in the first half, making all six of his shots, five from beyond the arc. He also had 17 points at halftime.
Robinson had 13 points and nine rebounds, and Jon Horford had nine points and 15 rebounds. Freshman Derrick Walton added 12 points.
Matthew Hezekiah scored 11 points for the Bulldogs.
The Wolverines can expect their first significant test of the season Sunday when they play at Iowa State. Then they head to a tournament in Puerto Rico that will include matchups with Long Beach State and either Florida State or VCU.
Michigan’s school record for 3-pointers is 16, which the Wolverines last accomplished three years ago against Bryant. The mark seemed likely to fall, but Michigan ended up one short. The Wolverines shot only 36 percent from the field in the second half and were outscored 36-34. But the game was never in doubt.
Michigan’s individual school record is nine 3-pointers, by Garde Thompson in a 1987 NCAA tournament game. Michigan beat Navy in that game despite 50 points by David Robinson.