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1:00 PM PT2:00 PM MT3:00 PM CT4:00 PM ET9:00 PM GMT5:00 PM 北京时间2:00 PM MST4:00 PM EST, Dec 22, 2018
Crisler Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan  Attendance: 12,707

Layoff concerns No. 4 Michigan against Air Force

Fans of No. 4 Michigan hope the Wolverines can handle their latest one-week layoff better than their first one.

Following 10 straight wins to open the season during an active schedule, Michigan had a full week off before last Saturday's game against Western Michigan. Michigan head coach John Beilein said he initially welcomed the break because it would afford more practice time for younger players.

But the rust of a long layoff showed in a 70-62 win against Western Michigan, as the Wolverines struggled to put away what seemed like an overmatched opponent.

Michigan only led by five at 63-58 with 1:41 remaining before holding off the Broncos.

The Wolverines (11-0) once again have a full week off for their next game -- a home contest on Saturday against Air Force (4-6).

"We tried to get back to some basics during this time," Beilein said. "We felt that Western Michigan deserves a lot of credit in the way they played us and how well they played. We had to get back to playing with the edge that we played with earlier in the year. I think we have done that the past couple of days in practice."

Beilein compared Air Force to another team that Michigan has played this year, Holy Cross.

In that game, Holy Cross held a 24-18 lead at halftime before Michigan had a big second half to win easily, 56-37.

"Same style," Beilein said when comparing Air Force to Holy Cross. "Air Force is a bigger team with a little bit more experience and a real challenge for us. I know it made us a better team playing Holy Cross, and playing Air Force is going to make us a better team, and hopefully it does with a victory."

Beilein and Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich have a brief history together.

Pilipovich coached at Michigan under Tommy Amaker from 2005-07, but when Amaker was fired and Beilein was hired, Beilein said Pilipovich helped him a great deal with the transition even though it was apparent Beilein wouldn't retain Pilipovich on the Michigan staff.

"He stayed around for three weeks and showed so much class," Beilein said.

Air Force is coming off a 66-61 loss at home to Army on Dec. 8.

While Michigan will have a week off in between games, Air Force will have had a full two weeks off from playing a game when the ball tips in Ann Arbor.

Air Force has two players who are averaging in double figures this season -- junior forward Ryan Swan (12.0 points per game) and junior forward Lavelle Scottie (11.5).

"We've got to move forward," Scottie told the Colorado Springs Gazette after the loss to Army. "We've got to look at our mistakes, fix them and grow from them. We can be a good team, there's no doubt about that. I think everybody else sees that we can be a good team. We're right there. We've just got to figure out what is it that's going to push us over to get there."

This will be the first meeting between the programs since 1965.

Updated December 21, 2018

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