Defense Helps Wolverines Close Out Michigan Tech

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team capped off its exhibition season with 85-50 victory over Michigan Tech this afternoon (Nov. 5) at Crisler Arena.

With Michigan taking a 26-point first half lead, the Huskies could never recover against a Wolverines defense that held Michigan Tech to 19-for-50 shooting, while forcing 24 turnovers. The Maize and Blue outrebounded Michigan Tech 33-to-25, in addition to connecting on 13 more free-throws than the Huskies.

Senior Courtney Sims (Boston, Mass./Noble & Greenough HS) led all scorers with 21 points on 9-for-11 shooting, also recording six rebounds, two blocks and a pair of steals in 19 minutes of action. Fifth-year senior Lester Abram (Pontiac, Mich./Northern HS) produced 14 points, while shooting 2-for-3 beyond the arc and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. Abram added three rebounds, three steals, and two assists. Freshman Ekpe Udoh (Edmond, Okla./ Santa Fe HS) rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting, in addition to snagging two rebounds, an assists and a block.

Michigan started the afternoon hot, gaining a 10-2 lead heading into the games first timeout at 15:19. Scoring on three of their first four possessions, the Wolverines mounted a 7-0 lead before the Huskies' first bucket at 17:41. Coleman had five of Michigans first 10 points, with three coming from a hoop-and-foul situation below the basket.

The Wolverines built-up a 23-point halftime lead, 43-20, behind a team leading eight points by Udoh, connecting on four-for-five from the field. Sims added seven points down-low, allowing Michigan to work the inside-outside game, freeing up shooters from downtown. With his three-pointer at 1:06 in the first half, freshman Reed Baker (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) tallied his fifth triple in exhibition play.

Defensively, U-M forced 14 Michigan Tech turnovers, while holding the Huskies to 32-percent shooting from the field. Michigan finished the first half with 11 assists, 7 steals, and 19 total rebounds.

The Maize and Blue advantage swelled to 60-30 at 14:08 in the second half on a Harris three-pointer. Abram came away with the other Michigan triple of the second half, three of his second half total of nine. Sims continued to play a complete game, doubling his first half output with 14 second half points. On an inbounds play with 8:11 left in the ballgame, sophomore Jerret Smith (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS) found the lengthy senior on an alley-oop to boost Michigan's lead to 70-35.

Smith, who finished with six assists, found Sims on the next trip down the court, as the senior center added three-points on a lay-up and foul, stretching the lead to 73-35. The Michigan lead hovered around 38 for much of the second half, until a bucket by freshman K'Len Morris (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc HS) gave U-M its largest lead of the afternoon, 83-40, at 3:39 in the second half. Morris finished with seven points on 3-for-5 from the field, also adding three rebounds.

With the exhibition season now concluded, the Wolverines turn their attention to the start of the regular season by hosting the John Thompson Challenge, Friday through Sunday (Nov. 10-12), at Crisler Arena.

The Maize and Blue play three games in three days, opening with Central Connecticut State Friday (Nov. 10) at 8 p.m. The Wolverines will follow with games against Davidson Saturday (Nov. 11) at 4 p.m. and close with Eastern Michigan Sunday (Nov. 12) at 4 p.m.

For a full tournament schedule please visit the John Thompson Challenge scheduling on

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423

»  Learn about Michigan men's basketball season tickets for the 2017-18 season.