Harris Leads Wolverines to Overtime Win at Northwestern

Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Score: Michigan 70, Northwestern 67 (OT)
Records: U-M (16-10, 6-7 Big Ten), Northwestern (13-10, 4-8 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Thursday, Feb. 19 -- vs. Minnesota (Crisler Arena), 7 p.m.

Boxscore | Notes & Quotes | Video Report

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Sophomore guard Manny Harris(Detroit, Mich./Detroit Redford HS) scored a game-high 26 points, including 25 after the intermission, as the University of Michigan men's basketball team survived with a 70-67 overtime victory over Northwestern on Sunday afternoon (Feb. 15) at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Northwestern forced overtime despite trailing the Wolverines by five with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, but Harris poured in eight of his 26 in overtime as the Maize and Blue never trailed in the extra session. Sophomore/freshman Laval Lucas-Perry(Flint, Mich./Powers Catholic HS) added 10 points for the Wolverines. Kevin Coble led the Wildcats with 23 points in the contest, while John Shurna finished with 17.

Leading by two at halftime, Northwestern scored the first two points of the second stanza to take a four-point lead before Harris scored the next nine points to give U-M a five-point advantage. Harris first drained a triple and then converted a pair of old-fashioned three-point plays to push the Wolverines in front.

A 15-6 run gave the Wildcats a 46-42 lead before a Harris basket and a free throw from senior/junior forward Zack Gibson(Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc) cut the Northwestern lead to just one. The Wildcats pushed the lead back to four, 51-47, before a pair of free throws from Harris and a baseline turnaround from Sims tied the game at 51-51.

The Michigan lead reached five, 56-51, after a jam and a turnaround 17-footer from Harris, but Northwestern scored the final five points of regulation, including a three from just outside the line with 19 seconds left, to force overtime.

In the overtime, six consecutive points from Harris gave U-M a 64-58 lead with 2:03 remaining, but Northwestern responded with the next five to cut Michigan's lead to one. The teams traded a pair of points before fifth-year senior guard C.J. Lee(Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland HS) made a pair from the charity stripe and Gibson followed with one to put the Wolverines up four with seven seconds to play. Northwestern made one last attempt at a comeback, converting a layup with just over a second to play, but freshman guard Zack Novak(Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton HS) made a free throw to cement the winning margin.

Early in the first half, with U-M trailing 13-9, Lucas-Perry got a steal and converted an old-fashioned three-point play with a falling scoop shot and the ensuing free throw. Following a Northwestern basket, fifth-year senior guard David Merritt(West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield HS) knocked down a triple to tie the game, 15-15, midway through the opening stanza.

A Novak triple gave U-M a 23-20 lead before Northwestern scored the next five points to regain a two-point lead. Junior/sophomore forward Anthony Wright(Sterling, Va./Oak Hill Academy) then forced a steal and pushed the ball to Gibson, who went coast-to-coast for a jam to tie the score. Northwestern capped the scoring in the half with a bucket to take a two-point lead into the break.

Northwestern's Shurna led all scorers with 13 in the opening 20 minutes. Novak had six points in the first half for the Wolverines, who shot 50 percent in the half (9-for-18) but also committed 10 turnovers.

The Maize and Blue will return home to Crisler Arena and host Minnesota on Thursday (Feb. 19). Game time between the Wolverines and Golden Gophers is scheduled for 7 p.m., and the contest will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423

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