Jan. 17, 2010
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Arena)
Score: Michigan 68, No. 15 Connecticut 63
Records: U-M (10-7), UConn (11-6)
Next U-M Event: Wednesday, Jan. 23 -- at Wisconsin (Madison, Wis.), 7:30 p.m. CST
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team came into Sunday's (Jan. 17) game looking to put another signature win on its schedule and the Wolverines did just that, knocking off No. 15 Connecticut, 68-63, in front of a capacity crowd at Crisler Arena. Junior guard Manny Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford) led the Wolverines with 18 points (8-of-10 free throws) and eight rebounds, while senior forward DeShawn Sims (Detroit, Mich./Pershing) added 11 rebounds in the upset.
The Wolverines (10-7, 3-2 Big Ten) fell behind 12-6 early, but a pair of three-point buckets from sophomore guard Stu Douglass (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) pulled Michigan even. Two possessions later, Harris brought the Crisler Arena faithful to their feet with a thunderous dunk in transition to give Michigan its first lead of the game, 14-12. The Wolverines followed with a 9-2 run, capped by a three in transition from sophomore Laval Lucas-Perry (Flint, Mich./Powers Catholic).
In the first half, Michigan forced 11 turnovers and made six triples, two each from Douglass, Lucas-Perry and redshirt junior Anthony Wright (Sterling, Va./Oak Hill Academy). On the defensive end, the U-M defense neutralized Connecticut's backcourt combo of Jerome Dyson (19.0 ppg) and Kemba Walker (12.5 ppg), holding the duo to only four points in the first half.The Wolverines held a nine-point advantage at the break (32-23).
Harris gave Michigan an 11-point lead with his bucket to start the second half, but Connecticut (11-6, 2-3 Big East) rattled off a 16-5 run to tie things at 39-all. With the score tied at 47-47 and 8:26 to play, sophomore Zack Novak (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) put Michigan in front once again, crashing the offensive glass off a miss and converting a layup in the paint to make the score, 49-47.
With the game tied at 58-58 and less than three minutes to play, Novak made the play of the game, as he stepped out to the front of the three-point circle and drained his only triple to put Michigan ahead by three. As Connecticut crossed half court, Harris knocked the ball loose, drove the length of the floor and added a layup to increase the lead to five (63-58). After Novak picked up his fourth foul while attempting to take a charge, Dyson stepped to the line and missed two free throws, but regained the ball after a Lucas-Perry turnover. Connecticut added two free throws from Walker to cut the lead back to three.
With time running down, Connecticut was forced to foul, but the Wolverines converted on their free throws, as Douglass and Novak each managed to hit two on their respective trips to the line to seal the win. The Indiana natives combined for 23 points in the victory (Douglass 13, Novak 10).
The game provided match-up problems for both teams. Michigan had some difficulty with Connecticut's size down low, as the Huskies held the rebounding advantage (41-35) and dominated in the paint (34-18). On the flip side, Connecticut could not keep up with Michigan's four-guard offense, as the Wolverines connected on nine three-pointers (9-for-28, 32 percent). Despite Connecticut's size and the even offensive rebounding totals (15 for each team), Michigan had 20 second-chance points.
The Wolverines have won four of their last five games and will look to continue the momentum this Wednesday (Jan. 23), as they return to the court at Wisconsin. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CST, and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423