Abram Leads Wolverines Past Ohio State on Senior Day
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team sent away seniors Colin Dill (Saginaw, Mich./Birmingham Country Day) and Bernard Robinson Jr. (Washington, D.C./New Hampton Prep [N.H.]) from Crisler Arena with a 75-64 victory over Ohio State Sunday afternoon (Feb. 29). In their regular-season home finale, the Wolverines (16-9, 7-7 Big Ten) used scoring runs of 11-2 and 8-0 in the first half to build a nine-point halftime lead, and sophomore Lester Abram (Pontiac, Mich./Northern HS) scored 10 of his team-high 20 points in the second frame to allow U-M to stay in front and even its conference record at 7-7.

 

Petway swatted three shots and tied his career high with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

Robinson finished his final home game with 13 points, five assists and four boards. Freshman Brent Petway (McDonough, Ga./Griffin HS) had a strong all-around performance, matching a career high with 12 points and adding a game-high eight rebounds and three blocks. Sophomore Daniel Horton (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill HS) scored 10 points, handed out six assists and pulled down five rebounds. Tony Stockman finished with a game-high 22 points for the Buckeyes.

The Buckeyes took control early on, storming out to a 9-2 lead in the first two minutes of the game. Following a timeout at 17:42, Abram came off the bench to score seven of the Wolverines' next nine points to trim Ohio State's lead to 15-11. Following a steal and a bucket from Stockman, Petway collected an offensive board and knocked down a short fadeaway jumper to keep U-M within two points with 12 minutes remaining in the first half.

Petway's hoop spurred on an 11-2 Michigan run over the next five minutes. Sophomore Graham Brown (Mio, Mich./Mio-AuSable HS) knotted the score at 15-15 after taking a nice flip feed from Robinson and scoring inside. Petway followed with a rising one-handed basket in the lane, and Robinson gave U-M its first lead of the game, 19-17, with a turnaround jumper at 8:30. Freshman Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) gave the Wolverines added momentum with a quick triple off the bench, and a Brown tip-in off a Robinson miss provided Michigan with a 24-17 advantage and forced the Buckeyes to call a timeout at 7:14.

A three-point play by Terence Dials stopped the bleeding for Ohio State, as the Buckeyes were able to cut the deficit to 24-22. Michigan responded with eight unanswered points, as Abram and Harris connected on a pair of triples and Robinson put home another jumper to give the Wolverines a 32-22 lead with 4:29 left until the break.

Michigan continued to execute inside, as freshman Courtney Sims (Roslindale, Mass./Noble & Greenough School) converted on a nice turnaround hook and Robinson swiped an OSU pass and took it in all alone for another two points. The Buckeyes would score five unanswered points in the final two minutes of the first half, but two buckets from Petway allowed the Wolverines to take a 40-31 lead into the locker room.

Abram led Michigan with 10 points in the first frame, while Petway contributed eight points on a perfect 4-4 shooting from the field. Dials paced the Buckeyes with 11 first-half points.

Stockman started the second half with a three-pointer for Ohio State, but Sims slammed home two points on an alley-oop pass from Horton. Sims' basket was the start of a 10-4 Michigan run over the next six minutes. Sims muscled home two more inside before Abram reeled off eight straight points of his own, including two more triples, to give the Wolverines a 52-38 cushion with 13:15 left in the game.

Horton got into the scoring mix for Michigan, scoring his first four points on a runner in the lane and a pair of free throws, allowing the Wolverines to sustain a 56-44 lead with just over 10 minutes to play. However, the Buckeyes would climb back within seven points, 56-49, thanks to another triple from Stockman and two points from the free throw line.

That would be as close as Ohio State would get, as the Wolverines were able to hold a comfortable lead for the remaining minutes of the game. Robinson kept U-M in front with a tough jumper in traffic from the baseline, and Horton and Abram added two free throws each to give Michigan a 62-49 advantage. The Maize and Blue continued to capitalize on its opportunities in the low post, with Brown backing down his defender for two points and Petway tipping in a missed triple by Harris to put U-M ahead by 12 points with 3:09 to go. Michigan iced the game from the free throw line, scoring six of its final nine points from the stripe.

The Wolverines will close out the 2003-04 regular season with two road games, starting Wednesday (March 3) against Indiana at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind. Michigan dropped a 59-57 decision to the Hoosiers earlier this season (Jan. 11) at Crisler Arena.

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423


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