Ignas Brazdeikis scores 17, Michigan wins opener in Spain

James Hawkins
The Detroit News
Charles Matthews

Michigan’s three-game exhibition series in Spain got off to a successful start.

Behind 17 points from freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis, the Wolverines took care of business and dispatched the Madrid Generals, 82-72, at Pabellon Amaya Valdemoro in Madrid.

Interim head coach Saddi Washington, who is filling in for John Beilein as he recovers from heart surgery, used a starting lineup of junior guard Zavier Simpson, sophomore guard Jordan Poole, redshirt junior wing Charles Matthews, sophomore forward Isaiah Livers and junior center Jon Teske.

The Wolverines struggled to kick into gear in the first half due to turnovers and foul trouble, and entered halftime tied at 39 with the Generals, a team comprised of local professional free agents.

More: UM aims to return a 'better version' from Spain trip

Michigan eventually took control by outscoring the Generals 23-12 in the third quarter and had to use offensive putbacks by freshman forward Brandon Johns and redshirt sophomore center Austin Davis to thwart a late surge by Madrid.

Matthews sealed the victory with a one-handed putback dunk and an alley-oop slam en route to 13 points. Poole and Davis each scored 12, while Johns and sophomore guard Eli Brooks, who was the first player off the bench, added eight points apiece.

Every player who dressed for Michigan received playing time. The Wolverines also used a variety of lineups during the contest, including a small ball lineup with Livers at the five and a two-point guard lineup with freshman David DeJulius and Brooks.

The game was played under FIBA rules, which meant a shorter shot clock, a deeper 3-point line and four 10-minute quarters as opposed to two 20-minute halves. 

Michigan spent the first two days of its overseas journey touring Madrid, highlighted by stops at the Royal Palace and Plaza de Toros followed by an excursion to Toledo, Spain, and a trip to a Real Madrid soccer match.

The team will head to Barcelona next, where it will face tougher competition against Serbian pro team KK Mega Bemax on Thursday and Liga ACB club Joventut Badalona on Saturday. Neither game will be live streamed or televised.