ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Led by the Maize and Blue duo of seniors Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) and Courtney Sims (Boston, Mass./Noble & Greenough HS), the University of Michigan men's basketball team gained its second victory of the season, defeating Davidson, 78-68, this afternoon (Saturday, Nov. 11) at Crisler Arena.
Trailing early in the contest, the Wolverines mounted an 18-3 first half run to capture a lead they would never relinquish. The Wildcats attempt for a comeback failed to gain any momentum against Michigan's balanced offense, as the Maize and Blue sealed the victory from the free-throw line in the final four minutes.
Harris found holes in the Davidson zone-defense, and came away with team-high 23 points on 5-for-12 shooting, with two buckets from three-point range. Harris also shot a career-best 11-for-12 from the free-throw line while dishing out six assists, grabbing two steals and a pair of rebounds. Sims controlled the paint with 21 points on 7-for-9 shooting, both from the field and from the foul stripe. He added three rebounds and a steal in 32 minutes of action.
Junior Ron Coleman (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS) netted 12 points in the victory on 5-for-9 shooting, while adding seven boards and an assist. Senior Brent Petway (McDonough, Ga./Griffin HS) came away with a career-high 13 rebounds, eight off of the defensive glass. He also tallied six points, an assist and a block in a career-best 36 minutes.
Davidson crashed the boards in the early going, outrebounding the Wolverines 8-to-3 to take an early 7-5 lead into the game's first timeout. The Wildcats were aided by two Michigan turnovers forced by Davidson's 2-3 zone defense. Five of the eight Wildcat rebounds came off of the offensive glass, creating easy scoring opportunities for forward Boris Meno and guard Stephen Curry.
Curry led the Wildcat first half charge, as Davidson widened its lead to 22-16 midway in the first half. Behind eight points by Curry, the Wildcats were able to take advantage of an over aggressive Wolverine man-to-man defense and score from the low-post and beyond the three-point line. Curry finished the first half with 17 points.
In the midst of an 18-3 U-M run, Michigan retook the lead, 23-22, on a Harris hoop with seven minutes remaining in the first half. Harris captained the surging Wolverine offense that jumped out front, 34-25, at 2:34. During the run, the senior guard accounted for seven U-M points and a pair of assists that resulted in a three-pointer by sophomore Jerret Smith (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS) and an alley-oop to Petway, giving Michigan the nine-point advantage.
Strong on the offensive end of the court, Harris also turned up the intensity on the defensive end, forcing a steal and fast break layup at 0:47. The bucket handed the Wolverines their largest lead of the half, 41-29. The Wildcats connected on two free-throws in the remaining seconds to enter halftime trailing 41-31.
With the start of the second half, Michigan continued to control the pace of play, and reached its biggest lead of the night, 58-41, at 12:51 on a Sims basket in the paint. Sims accounted for six of the Wolverines first 17-points of the second half, and Coleman and Harris complemented his strong inside game with four and five points, respectively.
A quick 12-point run by the Wildcats brought the score to 58-53. The margin was the closest that Davidson had been since midway through the first half. Sims responded with six points during a Wolverine 10-2 run to stretch the lead back to 13, 68-55, with 3:59 left in the game. Guiding the Maize and Blue through most of the game, Sims and Harris combined for the last 10 U-M points, all from the foul-line, to seal the victory for the Wolverines.
U-M closes out the John Thompson Challenge weekend with a game against crosstown rival Eastern Michigan on Sunday (Nov. 12). The Eagles are coached by former U-M assistant Charles E. Ramsey, who took over the EMU program in 2005. The Maize and Blue will be the second game of the day, as Davidson and Central Connecticut State will square off at 2 p.m. Michigan's game is scheduled to tipoff at 4 p.m.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423