Score: Michigan 68, Northwestern 59
Records: U-M (14-6, 4-4 Big Ten), Northwestern (10-7, 2-5 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Wednesday, Jan. 28 -- at Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio), 6:30 p.m.
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team outrebounded Northwestern, 41-22, to help the Wolverines give head coach John Beilein his 500th career winand snap a three-game losing streak with a 68-59 victory over the Wildcats on Saturday night (Jan. 24) at Crisler Arena. Junior forward DeShawn Sims(Detroit, Mich./Detroit Pershing HS) scored a team-high 15 points to lead the way for the Maize and Blue, while sophomore guard Kelvin Grady(Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids HS) added 11 points.
Michigan also had 18 assists on its 22 field goals in the contest and turned the ball over just nine times against a Northwestern team whose opponents had been averaging more than 19 turnovers in the past three games.
Sims powered the Maize and Blue offense in the opening three minutes of the contest, scoring the first nine points of the game for U-M. Northwestern matched Sims shot-for-shot, however, as the game was deadlocked 11-11 early.
Back-to-back trifectas by Grady sparked an 11-2 run for the Wolverines, giving U-M a 22-13 advantage with 9:35 remaining in the opening stanza. Michigan pushed its lead to as many as 10 on two occasions in the first half, the first on a dunk by Sims off a feed from sophomore guard Manny Harris(Detroit, Mich./Detroit Redford HS) and the second on a runner in the lane by sophomore/freshman guard Laval Lucas-Perry(Flint, Mich./Powers Catholic HS).
Harris finished the contest with eight points, 12 rebounds and four assists.
Junior/sophomore forward Anthony Wright(Sterling, Va./Oak Hill Academy) knocked in a triple with under a minute to play in the half to give the Maize and Blue a 33-24 lead heading into the intermission.
Sims led all scorers with 13 in the opening 20 minutes of play, including 5-of-5 from the field. U-M also held a 20-10 rebounding advantage in the first half. Kevin Coble led Northwestern at the break with seven points.
The Wildcats cut the Michigan lead to just four, 41-37, five minutes into the second stanza before the Wolverines went on an 8-2 surge fueled by a pair of triples from freshman guard Stu Douglass(Carmel, Ind./Carmel HS), forcing a Northwestern timeout.
The U-M lead reached as high as 13, 54-41, on a triple by freshman guard Zack Novak(Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton HS) with 9:30 to play. From there the Wildcats were unable to cut the Wolverine advantage under nine points until the 1:53 mark when a Northwestern three-pointer trimmed the lead to seven. Michigan then made 7-of-9 free throws in the final two minutes to preserve the victory.
Coble led all scorers with 21 points in the contest for Northwestern.
The Wolverines return to action this Wednesday (Jan. 28) when they travel to Columbus, Ohio, to meet the Buckeyes at 6:30 p.m. The contest can be seen live on the Big Ten Network.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423