Michigan Upended by Oklahoma in NCAA Second Round

Site: Kansas City, Mo. (Sprint Center)
Event: NCAA Tournament (Second Round)
Score: #7 Oklahoma 73, Michigan 63
Records: U-M (21-14), OU (29-5)
Attendance: 18,247
Next U-M Event: Season Completed

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team pushed seventh-ranked Oklahoma (No. 7 AP, No. 8 USA Today/ESPN) to the limit but fell, 73-63, to the Sooners on Saturday evening (March 21) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Sprint Center. U-M, seeded 10th in the South Region, was within a possession with six minutes to play before No. 2-seeded Oklahoma ended the game on a 15-8 burst to preserve the win.

Junior forward DeShawn Sims(Detroit, Mich./Detroit Pershing) and junior/sophomore Anthony Wright(Sterling, Va./Oak Hill Academy) led the Wolverines with 14 points apiece. Fifth-year senior C.J. Lee(Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland) added a career-best 11 points in his final game in the Maize and Blue, while sophomore guard Manny Harris(Detroit, Mich./Detroit Redford), limited to 21 minutes by foul trouble, also finished with 11.

The Wolverines and Sooners traded buckets in the early going,with a triple from freshman guard Zack Novak(Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) in the corner giving the Maize and Blue a 7-6 lead five minutes into the contest. A 7-0 burst by Oklahoma helped the Sooners build a six-point advantage before Wright, who entered the game at the 15:10 mark after Harris picked up his second foul, hit a trifecta to slash the Oklahoma advantage in half with 11:07 to play in the opening stanza.

Oklahoma responded by pushing its lead to seven, 22-15, before another Wright triple and a trio of free throws from Lee trimmed the Sooners lead to just a point, 22-21, with less than eight minutes to play in the half.

Wright's third trifecta of the half gave U-M a 26-25 lead with just under five minutes to play in the half, and an up-and-under move by Sims created a three-point edge, 28-25. A late five-point burst by Oklahoma helped give the Sooners a 30-29 lead heading into the half. Wright led the Wolverines with 12 points in the opening stanza, while Blake Griffin paced the Sooners with 13 points.

Oklahoma started the second half on an 8-0 run, giving the Sooners a 38-29 lead three minutes into the second half.

Oklahoma's lead reached 13, 58-45, before the Maize and Blue went on an 10-0 spurt, powered by a pair of triples from Lee, a putback from Wright and a layup from Sims, to bring the Wolverines back within three, 58-55, with six minutes to play. But the Sooners outscored the Maize and Blue 15-8 down the stretch to pull out the 73-63 victory.

Griffin, a leading candidate for national Player of the Year honors, led Oklahoma with 33 points and 17 rebounds.

Along with Lee, fifth-year senior guard David Merritt(West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield) and senior forward Jevohn Shepherd(Toronto, Ontario/West Hill Collegiate) each played his final game for the Wolverines.

Michigan's season comes to a close with a 21-14 record, an 11-win improvement over a season ago.

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423

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