ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team moved to 2-0 on the exhibition season with a 90-57 victory over the Fayetteville Patriots of the National Basketball Development League on Friday night (Nov. 14) at Crisler Arena. Senior Bernard Robinson Jr. (Washington, D.C./New Hampton Prep, N.H) led all scorers with 18 points, with 13 coming in the first half, and added five assists and five steals. Lester Abram (Pontiac, Mich./Northern HS) chipped in 16 points, while freshman Brent Petway (McDonough, Ga./Griffin HS) had a solid Michigan debut with 13 points on five dunks and 6-7 shooting. Jason Collier paced Fayetteville with 11 points.
Dunk you very much: five of freshman Brent Petway's six field goals came on dunks.
Fayetteville's Junie Sanders notched the game's first points in the opening minute with a three-pointer from the wing. Robinson tallied Michigan's first points of the evening with a pull-up jumper. Both teams looked sharp offensively while trading buckets throughout the first five minutes of the game. U-M coach Tommy Amaker
was forced to call U-M's first timeout after Fayetteville took a two-point lead on an easy layup inside the paint at 14:59.
At the 13-minute mark, the Wolverines took a 20-15 lead on a backdoor pass from Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) to Robinson for a baseline dunk. On the ensuing possession for the Patriots, Michigan's Petway stole a pass and electrified the crowd with an uncontested windmill dunk at the other end. Fayetteville was forced to call its first timeout as the Wolverines seized momentum with a seven-point lead.
The Michigan lead swelled to 12 over the next five minutes behind strong defensive pressure and the sharpshooting of Robinson and Daniel Horton (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill HS). The duo hooked up for a key play with Robinson dishing to Horton for the basket and the foul with seven minutes to play in the half.
The Patriots ended a scoring drought with a three-pointer by Collier. Fayetteville's hope for a run, however, was squashed by an alley-oop pass from Robinson to Petway for a thunderous dunk that brought the Crisler Arena crowd to its feet. The Wolverines took a 48-29 lead into the locker room at the break.
Freshman Courtney Sims (Roslindale, Mass./Noble & Greenough School), who got the start at center, notched his seventh and eighth points on a short jumper in the lane to open the second-half scoring for the Wolverines. Sims finished with 10 points and six boards. After trading buckets, Petway entered the game at the 15-minute mark and made his presence felt with back-to-back dunks. After J.C. Mathis (Brooklyn, N.Y./John F. Kennedy HS) beat the shot clock with a jump hook and Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) converted a three-point play, U-M went up by 29 points, forcing a timeout by Fayetteville coach Jeff Capel.
Out of the Fayetteville timeout, the Patriots' shooting woes continued while Abram hit treys on consecutive trips down the floor to maintain Michigan's sizeable lead. With 3:40 remaining, Michigan emptied its bench with the game in hand.
After the Wolverines worked the clock, senior forward Colin Dill (Saginaw, Mich./Birmingham Country Day School) got into the act with a three-pointer from the wing. Petway split a pair of free throws to close out the Michigan win. Sophomore Chris Hunter (Gary, Ind./West Side HS) grabbed nine rebounds to match his nine points to lead a stellar defense which produced 13 steals.
The Wolverines open their regular season at home against Oakland University next Friday (Nov. 21). The 7 p.m. contest is part of a doubleheader with the U-M women's basketball team, which will face Western Michigan at 2 p.m.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423