NEW YORK (AP) Dug McDaniel had 26 points, Nimari Burnett scored 21 - all in the first half - and Michigan cruised to an 89-73 romp Monday night over St. John's and new coach Rick Pitino at Madison Square Garden.

Terrance Williams II added 12 points and Will Tschetter scored 10 for the Wolverines (3-0) in the opener of the annual Gavitt Tipoff Games, which matches Big Ten teams against Big East programs. Tennessee transfer Olivier Nkamhoua had nine points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Michigan interim coach Phil Martelli filled in again for Juwan Howard, who has been recovering from heart surgery since mid-September. Howard traveled with the team to New York, but the school said he wasn't expected on the floor.

McDaniel added seven assists and six rebounds. Burnett made all eight field goal attempts in the first half, including four 3-pointers. Both players set a career scoring high.

Michigan has won 11 straight games at Madison Square Garden, including a second consecutive Big Ten Tournament championship in 2018.

“It was an exciting experience and something that I won't ever forget," said Burnett, an Alabama transfer.

For the 71-year-old Pitino, a New York City native, his initial high-profile game at St. John's was a colossal flop. It was the first home game at “The World’s Most Famous Arena” for the Hall of Famer since he coached the NBA's New York Knicks from 1987-89.

Pitino, who won NCAA championships at Kentucky and Louisville, spent the past three seasons at Iona.

Joel Soriano had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Red Storm (1-1).

“It was a good lesson, but they deserve all the credit. They were brilliant at the way they ran their offense,” Pitino said. “Their backcourt dominated our backcourt, but they played intelligent basketball and we did not.”

Burnett, scoreless in Michigan's previous game, had 15 of the first 16 points for the Wolverines in the opening 6:07, including a trio of 3s. Michigan took control by closing the first half on a 19-7 spurt to build a 48-38 halftime lead.

“We settled in because Nimari settled in,” Martelli said.

The lead quickly grew to 60-43 early in the second half, and the Wolverines pushed the margin to 26 with 7:33 remaining. By then, Michigan fans in the crowd of 14,188 were chanting “Let’s Go Blue!” and “Free Jim Harbaugh!”


Michigan: Maybe this team is much better than anticipated. Michigan was picked 11th in the Big Ten preseason poll and was unranked in the preseason AP Top 25 for the first time in four years. In fact, the Wolverines didn't even receive any votes until getting two points in Monday's poll. Michigan lost its top three scorers from last season - two top-15 NBA draft picks and preseason All-America big man Hunter Dickinson, who transferred to Kansas. But even without Howard or injured guards Jace Howard and Jaelin Llewellyn, who are both expected back this season, the Wolverines are off to an impressive start. They've blown out defending Big South champion UNC Asheville, defending Horizon League champion Youngstown State and now a St. John's team selected fifth in the Big East preseason coaches' poll.

St. John's: It was a humbling reality check in the first true test of the season for a team with 12 new players - including 10 transfers - after the Pitino era began with a 90-74 victory over Stony Brook last Tuesday at Carnesecca Arena on campus. St. John's received 47 points in voting for Monday's AP poll, third-most among teams not in the Top 25.

“We'll excel in January or February, but we better be careful because this early schedule is tough,” Pitino said.


Michigan: Will host Long Beach State on Friday night before facing Memphis at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas on Nov. 22.

St. John’s: Will play North Texas, last season's NIT champion, Thursday afternoon at the Charleston Classic in South Carolina.


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