ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team closed out the exhibition season today (Friday, Nov. 11) with a dominating 101-56 performance against the Northern Michigan Wildcats at Crisler Arena. Led by a balanced attack both offensively and defensively throughout the Maize and Blue lineup, the Wolverines had six players score in double figures, including all five starters.
Sophomore Ron Coleman (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS) led the way for the Maize and Blue scoring 15 of his game-high 17-points in the second half, as he went 8-for-10 from the field. Junior Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) chipped in with 14-points, while leading U-M with five assists and no turnovers. Senior Daniel Horton (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill HS) had another fine exhibition performance with 12 points, four assists and five steals in the game. Senior Graham Brown (Mio, Mich./Mio HS) had 12 points to go along with his seven rebounds and two steals, while junior Courtney Sims (Roslindale, Mass./Noble & Greenough School) matched Brown's tallies as he also recorded 12 points and seven rebounds in the contest.
After trading baskets to open the game, the Wolverine jumped out with a 14-2 run to break the six all tie. The Maize and Blue run was sparked by the energetic play of Horton as he accounted for eight points including two three-point bombs, giving Michigan a 20-8 advantage 13:05 remaining in the first half.
Two quick Northern Michigan buckets cut the U-M lead to 20-12, before the Maize and Blue exploded again for a 16-0 run, giving them a commanding 37-12 lead. Two steals, one by freshman Jerret Smith (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS) and another by Horton, were both converted for lay-ups, leading the way for a Michigan backcourt that produced five Wildcat turnovers in the first half.
An 8-0 Northern Michigan spurt would draw the Wildcats closer, 37-20, but two consecutive buckets by senior Lester Abram (Pontiac, Mich./Northern HS) would extend the U-M back to 41-20, with 3:29 remaining in the opening period. Sims would continue his strong first half play, connecting on three free throws and a put-back as Michigan would close out the first half on an 11-4 run. Entering the locker with a 50-24 advantage, the Wolverines shot 60-percent from the field to go along with 11-of-15 shooting from the foul-line.
Coming out for the second half, Abram put U-M on the board first, scoring on a short jumper. But the Northern Michigan would not go away as they exchanged buckets with the Wolverines in the first five minust of play. A Smith three-pointer elevated stopped the Wildcast run as U-M extended its lead to a 72-46 lead with just under 11 minutes left to play.
As the second half wore on, Michigan applied defensive pressure pushing its lead to 24-total points off of Northern Michigan turnovers. Contining the attack, Horton found a driving Coleman for a slam, making it an 83-49 ballgame with just under eight minutes to go.
With a commanding lead, the Wolverines finished out the final minutes of the game by allowing U-M bench players to gain experience, including freshman Kendric Price (Boston, Mass/Buckingham Browne & Nichols School). Price came off the bench to score his first career basket, an electrifying alley-oop by senior Hayes Grooms (Detroit, Mich./Brother Rice), adding an exclamation point to a 101-56 Michigan victory. Senior Amadou Ba (Mauritania, Africa/Brigton Academy) saw six minutes of action finishing with three points and five rebounds.
The Wolverines will open their regular season Friday (Nov. 18) against the Central Michigan Chippewas. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 pm at Crisler Arena.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423