Eli Brooks scored 15 points and No. 20 Michigan held off pesky Tarleton State 65-54 in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Wednesday.
Moussa Diabate contributed 14 points and seven rebounds and Caleb Houston had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolverines. Michigan committed 21 turnovers, leading to 22 Tarleton points.
Montre Gipson led Tarleton with 17 points and Tahj Small supplied 12.
The schools had never previously met in any sport and Tarleton State had not previously faced a Big 10 school in any sport. Tarleton, which faces No. 1 Gonzaga on Monday, lost to then No. 3 Kansas earlier this season.
Brooks had eight points in the first half as Michigan led 31-22 at the break. Gipson topped Tarleton with eight points.
Bothered by the Texans’ pressure, the Wolverines committed eight turnovers in the first seven minutes as Tarleton took a 12-9 lead. The Texans went scoreless over the next five minutes as Michigan gained a 16-12 advantage.
Gipson made a layup in traffic with 5:17 left in the half to pull the Texans within one at 21-20. The Wolverines then reeled off the next 10 points with Frankie Collins as the catalyst.
Collins knocked down a 3-pointer, then set up Brooks for a corner 3. He found Diabate for a layup with 3:35 left, prompting Tarleton to call timeout.
Hunter Dickinson scored his first points of the game with a mid-range jumper off another Collins assist.
Brooks contributed a 3-pointer, an assist, a steal and two free throws in the first two minutes of the second half to stretch Michigan’s lead to 38-24.
Noah McDavid’s layup off a Gipson pass with 8:48 left cut Michigan’s lead to 50-41.That began an 8-0 spurt as Small made a 3-pointer and Gipson tossed in another with six minutes left to whittle the Wolverines’ lead to 52-49.
A pair of Diabate dunks in the late going helped Michigan pull out the victory.