March 24, 2019 / 12:25 AM / 7 months ago

Poole, Michigan dispatch Florida with strong second half

Jordan Poole scored a game-high 19 points Saturday, and second-seeded Michigan pulled away with an 11-0 run to start the second half as it bagged a 64-49 win over 10th-seeded Florida in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa.

Mar 23, 2019; Des Moines, IA, United States; Michigan Wolverines guard Zavier Simpson (3) shoots the ball against Florida Gators guard KeVaughn Allen (5) in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Livers came off the bench to add 10 for the Wolverines (30-6), who will face No. 3 Texas Tech or No. 6 Buffalo in the West Region semifinals on Thursday in Anaheim, Calif. Michigan, which owned the boards 42-29, overcame 42.1 percent shooting from the field.

Jalen Hudson was the only double-figure scorer for the Gators (20-16) with 11 points, but he made just 4 of 15 shots from the floor and was 3 of 10 from the 3-point line. Florida fired away to no avail, hitting only 19 of 55 field-goal tries (34.5 percent) and 9 of 26 from 3-point range.

Point guard Zavier Simpson barely missed a triple-double for the Wolverines, finishing with nine points, nine rebounds and nine assists. His pass to Ignas Brazdeikis teed up a 3-pointer 11 seconds into the second half that kicked off the game-deciding spurt.

Jon Teske checked in with a layup, and then Poole put his stamp on the run. He converted a 3-point play and then drilled one of his four 3-pointers to make it 43-28 with 17:50 left in the game.

The Gators were able to score the next nine points, pulling within 43-37 on Keyontae Johnson’s dunk at the 14:21 mark. But Michigan’s defense clamped down at that point, allowing only 12 points for the game’s remainder.

Poole’s 3-point shot with 2:01 remaining applied the knockout punch, giving the Wolverines a 60-44 advantage.

Florida led briefly on two occasions in the first few minutes before Michigan ripped off 11 straight points. Poole had a big hand in that run, converting a rare 4-point play and then draining a 3-pointer to make it 15-6 just under six minutes into the game.

The Gators fought back to grab their last lead at 23-21 on a layup by Kevarrius Hayes with 6:49 left in the half. But the Wolverines regained the advantage less than two minutes later and went to the break up 32-28.

—Field Level Media

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