ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Graduate student Christian Lutete (Silver Spring, Md.) posted 21 points in an 86-60 setback for the UMass Lowell River Hawks men’s basketball team (6-9) at No. 11 Michigan (10-3) on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s a great experience for our players to play in this environment, a Sunday afternoon game in a packed house against a top opponent in the country,” said Head Coach Pat Duquette. “Win or lose, I want my guys to enjoy this experience and learn something about ourselves. Our goal is to get better for conference play.”
Lutete shot 57 percent (8-14) from the floor with a pair of threes in the team’s non-conference finale. Junior Obadiah Noel (Frederick, Md.) added 16 points with a team-best eight rebounds and three steals. Freshman Ron Mitchell (Philadelphia, Pa.) rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 points.
Noel tallied the first bucket of the night for the River Hawks, as the Wolverines quickly built a double-digit buffer. Noel then drained a three from the wing and sophomore Joey Glynn (Portsmouth, N.H.) added a wide-open, pull-up jumper to help the visitors settle in and cut the difference to 19-9 with 11:04 remaining in the first half.
Lutete added a triple of his own and a big block by Glynn led to a fast-break layup on the other end by Noel. Mitchell would then drive to the hoop to spark a quick, 8-3, River Hawk spurt that included four points from Lutete to make it 37-25, but Michigan registered the final five points of the half to take a 42-25 edge into the break.
Coming out of halftime, the Wolverines stretched the lead to 52-29 before Mitchell, Noel and freshman Connor Withers (Manassas, Va.) scored on consecutive possessions to pull within 56-35, although a 16-5 run by the home squad made the score, 72-40, with 9:40 still to play.
UMass Lowell continued to battle with the help of eight straight points from Lutete late in the period and would close out the contest with baskets from Mitchell and Blunt, as the Wolverines secured the 86-60 outcome.
The River Hawks will open America East action after the new year when they visit UMBC on Saturday, January 4 for a 1 p.m. tilt.
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