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Michigan Wolverines dominate UMass-Lowell 86-60 despite missing Isaiah Livers

Michigan forward Brandon Johns Jr., left, tries to get past UMass-Lowell forward Allin Blunt during the first half Sunday in Ann Arbor. (AP photo)

By MATT SCHOCH

Associated Press

ANN ARBOR — With Isaiah Livers out because of an injury, Michigan coach Juwan Howard went big.

That was a problem for undermanned UMass Lowell.

Jon Teske had 25 points and eight rebounds, and the 7-foot-1 senior center and his towering teammates created headaches as No. 11 Michigan overpowered the River Hawks 86-60 Sunday to close the nonconference schedule.

“I wanted to take advantage of our size advantage as well as Jon’s skill level,” said Howard, Michigan’s first-year coach. “It’s no secret this year I’ve been wanting to establish him in the post to establish our inside-outside game, and today was a good day to continue with that game plan.”

Teske opened each half by scoring the first four points for Michigan, which earned a 41-25 rebounding edge.

The Wolverines (10-3) played their first game without Livers, who entered Sunday as the team’s leading scorer, after the junior forward injured his groin last week against Presbyterian. He’s out indefinitely.

Sophomore Brandon Johns Jr., who is 6-8, got his first start, and Teske and Johns were also teamed at times with the 6-11 Colin Castleton and the 6-10 Austin Davis.

UMass Lowell does not have a player over 6-7.

“We are kind of a big team, so I think it disrupted them a little bit more than other teams would,” Johns said. “There more of a perimeter-based team, so we tried to emphasize closing out on the 3-point line and everything.”