ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team kept to its undefeated ways Friday night (Nov. 17), handling the Harvard Crimson 82-50 at Crisler Arena. With a suffocating defense, Michigan (5-0) built a 22-point halftime advantage, holding the Crimson to only six first-half field goals. Junior Ron Coleman (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS) captained the offensive effort with a career-high 20 points, as the Wolverines tallied 24 team assists and 31 points off Harvard turnovers to build a 38-point second-half lead.
Five Wolverines scored in double figures against Harvard. Leading the Maize and Blue offensive attack was Coleman, whose 20 points came on 9-for-16 shooting from the field, including 2-for-6 beyond the three-point arc. He added four rebounds and three assists in a team-high 34 minutes of action.
Senior Courtney Sims (Boston, Mass./Noble & Greenough HS) controlled the low block with 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting and 2-for-3 from the foul line. Sims also had six boards, two blocks and a pair of steals. Michigan gained outstanding production from the low post, recording 40 points in the paint.
The senior duo of Lester Abram (Pontiac, Mich./Northern HS) and Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) combined for 20 points, scoring 10 points each. Harris went 4-for-7 from the floor, including 2-for-5 from three-point land, while tallying six assists. Abram shot 4-for-8 from the field and netted a pair of free throws. He also dished out seven assists and recorded five steals.
Freshman Ekpe Udoh (Edmond, Okla./ Santa Fe HS) came off the bench to score 11 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting. He also produced five rebounds, a pair of steals and two blocks.
The Wolverines shot ahead in the first half, taking an 11-6 lead into the second media timeout of the night at 11:54. After a pair of Sims free throws gave U-M a two-point advantage, the Wolverines connected on three baskets from beyond the arc to grab the five-point lead. Harris was responsible for two of the triples, and Coleman netted the other.
Michigan turned to the paint later in the first stanza with a pair of buckets by both Udoh and Sims to stretch the lead to 22-8 at 6:05. Udoh finished the first half with six points on 3-for-3 shooting and three rebounds.
Three consecutive baskets by Coleman widened the Maize and Blue advantage to 29-11 with just under five minutes to play before the break. He ended the half with a two-point field goal, giving Michigan its largest lead of the first stanza, 39-17. Coleman finished with 12 first-half points on 5-for-9 shooting, including 2-for-4 from three-point range.
The story of the first half was a stingy Wolverine defense, holding the Crimson to 6-for-22 shooting from the field, including 0-for-4 from three-point range. Michigan also controlled the boards, out-rebounding Harvard 23-15 in the game's first 20 minutes of action. U-M gained 13 points off 12 Harvard turnovers.
U-M started the second half on an 8-4 spurt, with four Wolverines connecting on baskets to give Michigan a 47-21 lead. The Wolverine defense continued to stifle the Crimson throughout the final stanza, forcing 13 turnovers, with eight of Michigan's first 10 points coming off Harvard turnovers. With five points from Udoh and four from both Coleman and Abram over the next 10 minutes, the U-M lead ballooned to 78-41 with just 2:16 remaining in the contest.
After playing five games in an eight day-stretch the Wolverines will have the weekend off and are not scheduled to play against until Wednesday (Nov. 22) when Youngstown State comes to Crisler Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423