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Published: Thursday, 11/21/2013

Barrage of 3-pointers sparks Michigan win


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Michigan coach John Beilein predicted prior to arriving at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off that the four-day tournament would reveal a lot about his team’s talent level.

Through one game, for the most part he likes what he sees.

The 14th-ranked Wolverines knocked down a tournament-record 14 3-pointers and held off a late rally today in an 85-61 victory over Long Beach State.

Nik Stauskas scored 24 points and Caris LeVert had 20 to help Michigan beat the scrappy 49ers.

“We feel he’s got going in the last couple of games,” Beilein said of Stauskas, who came in averaging a team-high 17 points. “What I like is he’s finding open people. I don’t think he forced a shot today. ... I like the way he’s guarding, the way he’s rebounding. A lot of things.”

The 49ers came out in a triangle-and-two defensive set and also mixed in some zone to try to keep the Wolverines guessing early.

But Stauskas credited his team’s ball movement in the halfcourt for allowing him to get open looks.

“Guys were doing a really good job of getting into the lane, finding me open,” he said. “Anytime I get open shots, I hope I can knock them down.”

Michigan (3-1) led by 18 in the first half before it was trimmed to nine with less than 10 minutes to play.

But the Wolverines were able to hold on thanks to a steady string of shots from long range. Stauskas and LeVert hit four 3s apiece. Glenn Robinson III had 14 points.

A.J. Spencer and Mike Caffey each had 12 points to lead Long Beach State (1-4), which lost its fourth straight game. Michigan led 42-29 at halftime.

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