Michigan basketball's Eli Brooks, Hunter Dickinson get 'em back on track, 74-61 over UNLV

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Michigan basketball found itself in a physical, fast-paced battle in the semifinals of the Roman Main Event against UNLV late Friday night in Las Vegas.

But the Wolverines proved to be the tougher, faster team and successfully shook off their first loss of the season, at home Tuesday against Seton Hall.

No. 6 U-M beat UNLV, 74-61, to improve to 3-1 on the season. The Rebels remained within striking distance throughout the evening, but the Wolverines pulled away late, winning the rebounding matchup, 33-24, and shooting 51% from the field.

Eli Brooks led the Wolverines with 22 points, including 4 of 7 3-point shooting. Hunter Dickinson was a handful for UNLV, posting 13 points and seven rebounds. A smooth right-handed jump-hook from the right post with 2:49 left gave Michigan a 67-59 lead, seemingly icing the game away.

THINGS TO CLEAN UP: Michigan must adjust to these tactics Seton Hall used to pull upset

Freshman forward Moussa Diabate made his presence felt early on. Eight minutes into the first half, a steal in the backcourt by freshman guard Kobe Bufkin sent he and Diabate on a two-on-one fast break. It ended with Diabate's violent one-handed dunk over center David Muoka, giving the Wolverines an early 15-11 lead.

Diabate found his rhythm in the post following the jam, in which he scored Michigan’s next four points. The freshman phenom shot a perfect 4-for-4 from the field in the first half, and finished with 14 points (6-for-7 shooting), seven rebounds and two blocks.

The Wolverines began to break out of the back-and-forth affair with a 7-0 run to build a 35-23 lead with just under three minutes left in the first half.

The Rebels, however, fought back. They closed the half on a 9-0 run, punctuated by a step-back 3-pointer by Bryce Hamilton over Brooks seconds before the halftime buzzer sounded.

Hamilton stayed hot to start the second half, opening with a 3 to tie the game at 35, later going on a personal 5-0 run to tie the game at 40. Hamilton facilitated scoring for UNLV, leading the Rebels with 21 points on 9 of 23 shooting.

Midway through the second half, Michigan once again found separation. The Rebels’ defense lost Brooks in the corner, who drained the open 3 to give the Wolverines a nine-point lead. With the pace picking up, guard Michael Nuga drove in the paint. His right-handed layup attempt was denied emphatically from behind by Diabate.

The freshman post player continued to hold UNLV from closing in, grabbing his own offensive rebound for an easy basket, followed by a deep 2-pointer to extend U-M’s lead to 60-50.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan's Eli Brooks, Hunter Dickinson lead to win over UNLV