March 2, 2010
By: Brad Rudner
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Arena)
Score: Michigan 83, Minnesota 55
Records: U-M (14-15, 7-10 Big Ten), Minnesota (17-12, 8-9 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, March 7 -- at Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich.), 4 p.m. (TV: CBS)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Behind 23 points from senior forward DeShawn Sims (Detroit, Mich./Pershing) and an additional 22 from junior guard Manny Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford), the University of Michigan men's basketball team blasted Minnesota, 83-55, on Senior Night Tuesday (March 2) inside Crisler Arena. The Wolverines used a 25-11 run over the final 9:27 in the first half to blow the game open and never look back.
The Wolverines shot 42.1 percent (8-of-19) from long range and played unselfish basketball (21 assists on 32 made field goals). Harris and Sims combined for 47 points in the two teams' first meeting in Minneapolis, Minn., back on Feb. 11 and were equally as unstoppable on this night, combining for 45.
The contest was tight through the first 10 minutes, tied at 18-18 with 9:27 left to play in the half until Harris became unguardable, scoring eight straight points and capping off a 10-2 scoring run with a sweet alley-oop feed to Sims behind Minnesota's 3-2 zone. Harris had the favor returned on the next possession by sophomore Zack Novak (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton), as he slashed to the rim behind the defense, received the bounce pass in stride from Novak and laid it in for an easy two.
Eight different players scored at least one point in the first half, as the Wolverines shot 55 percent (16-of-29) from the field and 46 percent (7-of-15) from downtown. Michigan led 43-29 at the break, the most points it has scored in the first half since the season opener against Northern Michigan on Nov. 14.
Michigan led by as many as 28 in the second half. Even after Sims went to the bench with three personal fouls, Michigan continued to attack the rim. After a three-pointer by sophomore guard Stu Douglass (Carmel, Ind./Carmel), Harris outmuscled Minnesota for an offensive rebound off a missed free throw and put it up for another lay-in.
The Wolverines scored 40 points in the paint on their way to shooting a remarkable 60 percent (32-of-52 FG) for the game and only committed four turnovers.
Each of Michigan's three seniors received a standing ovation from the 10,561 present inside Crisler Arena on Tuesday night, coming off the floor one at a time during the final minutes. Senior Zack Gibson (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc) once again provided meaningful minutes off the bench in relief of Sims, scoring seven points, while senior Anthony Wright (Sterling, Va./Oak Hill Academy) drained a three-pointer in the first half for his only points of the game.
While it was Senior Night, several of Michigan's underclassmen also shined. In addition to Harris' 22 points, Novak ended the night with a 6-6-6 stat line (points-rebounds-assists). Freshman point guard Darius Morris (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward) added seven points to go along with six assists of his own, while Douglass chipped in 10 to round out the starters.
Damian Johnson was one of only two double-digit scorers for Minnesota, finishing with 13 points.
The Wolverines will look to avenge an earlier home loss to in-state rival Michigan State this Sunday (March 7), as they close out the Big Ten regular season. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. and the game will be televised to a national audience on CBS.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423