Michigan basketball survives Emoni Bates, Eastern Michigan, 88-83, at LCA

It was technically a Michigan basketball home game, even though it was played 45 minutes away from Ann Arbor.

The Wolverines had more fans in the crowd, approximately 75% of the 14,206 spectators who crowded into Little Caesars Arena wore maize and blue, but they didn’t make noise until late, because it was Eastern Michigan’s Emoni Bates who stole the show.

But in the end, Michigan (2-0) stole the game, avoiding the upset with an 88-83 win, behind Hunter Dickinson who had 31 points and seven rebounds and Terrance Williams II who had his first career double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

“You can learn a lot from a win, it doesn’t have to be a loss,” said coach Juwan Howard. “We knew coming in with an atmosphere like that it would be a game of runs … we knew it would be a very competitive game which was expected.

“Our guys did an amazing job of mental stability. When the runs were in Eastern Michigan’s favor and we were down we could’ve easily just folded and we didn’t.”

Eastern Michigan forward Emoni Bates scores against Michigan during the first half of UM's 88-83 win on Friday, Nov. 9, 2022, at Little Caesars Arena.

Bates, the Ypsilanti native and first five-star prospect to ever play on a MAC team, who transferred home after a disappointing freshman season and then battled legal trouble earlier in the fall — resulting in a suspension from the team and then reinstatement just more than one month later — looked like a player with the weight of the world lifted off his shoulders.

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