ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team won its fourth straight game, defeating the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers in a hard fought, 66-59 victory, Wednesday evening (Nov. 15) in front of 8,102 fans at Crisler Arena. Facing a two point halftime deficit, the Wolverines (4-0) rallied with 17 second half points by senior Courtney Sims (Boston, Mass./Noble & Greenough HS), taking control of the paint and grinding out the close win. Thirty-four of Michigan's' 66 points came from inside the post, and the Maize and Blue out-rebounded UW-M 44-to-30.
Sims led all scorers with 26 points on 10-for-13 shooting from the field, also connecting on 6-for-9 from the foul-line. Sims helped control the glass with 10 rebounds, in addition to collecting a pair of blocks and a steal. His 26 points and 10 boards marks his 10th career double-double.
Senior Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) came away with 15 points, shooting 7-for-17 from the field and 1-for-2 from beyond the arc. He also tallied four rebounds, four steals and an assist in 35-minutes of action.
Senior Brent Petway (McDonough, Ga./Griffin HS) collected the fourth double-double of his career, with 13 points, on 4-for-6 shooting from the field, and 5-for-6 from the charity stripe to go with 11 rebounds. The always active Petway also contributed three blocks and two assists.
The trio of Sims, Harris, and Petway combined for 37 of Michigan's 41 second half points.
With strong inside play, the Wolverines jumped out to an 8-0 lead sparked by a Petway dunk at 18:47 in the first half. Sims paired with Petway to man the paint during the first three-minutes of the game, contributing a dunk and two free-throws. Harris capped off the run with a midrange jumper at 17:25.
The Panthers quickly clawed back with a 10-2 run of their own, tying the score at 10-10, with 15:28 left in the opening half. While Michigan gained its lead on a strong inside presence, UW-M countered with a series of midrange jump-shots, including a pair by guard Kevin Massiah, who finished the half with four points.
The Wolverines responded, mounting a six-point advantage, 18-12, on a Harris jumper at 7:28. The U-M lead hovered around two baskets for the much of the first half. Harris connected on Michigan's' last three buckets of the stanza, including a deep three-pointer, and entered halftime with a game leading nine points on 4-for-9 shooting.
But the Panthers stayed shot-for-shot with the Wolverines in the first half, taking a 27-25 lead on a three-pointer by guard Avery Smith at 1:03. It was the first lead of the ball game for UM-W, and it took the two-point advantage into the halftime locker room.
Both teams shot 32-percent in the first half, but the Panthers' edge came from beyond the arc as they connected on 5-for-7 from three-point land, in comparison to the Wolverines 1-for-5 clip. Both teams shot 4-for-6 from the foul-line. UW-M may have been connecting from outside the arc, but U-M controlled the paint, as 16 of Michigan's 25 points came from inside the lane, compared to the Panthers' four. The Wolverines also out-rebounded UW-M 25-to-18 in the first 20 minutes of action.
With the Panthers lead extended to 34-29 at 16:43 in the second half, U-M snapped out of its mid-game funk, exploding for a 12-0 run over the next four minutes. Sims, Harris, and Petway each contributed a pair of buckets during the run, leading Michigan to take a 41-34 lead. The seven point advantage was the Wolverines' largest lead since going up 8-0 early in the first stanza, and Michigan would hang onto it tightly throughout the rest of the contest.
Besides a bucket by senior Lester Abram (Pontiac, Mich./Northern HS) at 8:24, giving U-M a 47-42 advantage, the trio of Sims, Petway and Harris combined for the rest of the team's 19 second-half points. Sims netted 12 points in the remaining eight minutes, and Petway and Harris each connected on two free-throws in the final minute to seal the victory.
Michigan will have a one-day break from game action, as the Wolverines host Harvard Friday (Nov. 17) at Crisler Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423