In the first look at the 2022-23 Michigan Wolverines’ men’s basketball team, they handled the Ferris State Bulldogs by a score of 88-75 off strong defense and electric performances by Jett Howard and Kobe Bufkin.
Michigan started the game hot, going on a 12-4 start from the tip-off primarily off a strong defensive showing — allowing just two makes on the Bulldogs’ first 14 attempts. Though Terrence Williams II racked up a pair of quick fouls, Jace Howard stepped in seamlessly, swatting a monster block to go into the first media timeout.
Out of the break, Ferris State showed a bit more of a fight, making five consecutive shots to cut the lead down to four. The run didn’t last long however, as the Wolverines quickly pushed the lead to double digits and never looked back. At the end of the half, Michigan carried a 49-30 lead into the locker room.
Jett Howard led the Wolverines offensively in the first half, scoring 22 points on a lights-out 88/80/100 shooting line. He was also tied for the team lead in rebounds headed into the half with Hunter Dickinson at four a piece, with Dickinson posting three defensive rebounds.
While the first half was Jett Howard’s time to ball out, the second added Bufkin to the mix in a big way. Bufkin had by far the highlight of the night on a left-handed poster dunk over a Ferris State defender early into the half, and added onto it with a layup and three-pointer before subbing off for the game.
As a collective, Michigan never let Ferris State come close to getting back into the game, as the lead swelled to as much as 30 points at one point and didn’t recede below 15 until the final seconds of the game.
Jett Howard ultimately finished as the team’s top scorer with 30 points, while Bufkin and Dug McDaniel were the two other Wolverines to post double-digit totals with 21 and 10, respectively.
The Wolverines will start the regular season in earnest on Nov. 7 when they play Purdue Fort Wayne at Crisler Center.