Score: #10 Duke 71, Michigan 56
Record: Michigan (3-1), Duke (5-0)
Next U-M Event: Tuesday, Nov. 24 -- vs. Norfolk State (Crisler Arena), 8:30 p.m., Big Ten Network
Boxscore | Notes & Quotes
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team fell short in its bid to upset its second top-10 opponent in as many nights as the Wolverines dropped a 71-56 decision to Duke (No. 10 AP/No. 5 ESPN/USA Today) in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer Friday night (Nov. 21) at Madison Square Garden. U-M (3-1) put forth a strong effort in the first half and trailed by just eight points at the break, but the Blue Devils (5-0) opened the second half with an 8-2 run to build a double-digit lead that stood for the remainder of the contest.
Michigan will have another crack at Duke in two weeks when the Wolverines host the Blue Devils on Saturday, Dec. 6, in front of a sold-out crowd of 13,751 in Crisler Arena (ESPN).
Sophomore Manny Harris(Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) notched his third 20-point effort of the season, finishing with a game-high 25 points while hitting all but one of his 12 free-throw attempts. Junior DeShawn Sims(Detroit, Mich./Pershing HS) had another strong outing, tallying 10 points and three rebounds off the bench. Sophomore Kelvin Grady(Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids HS) gave a solid effort with a game-high six assists to go along with five points and four boards, while senior/junior Zack Gibson(Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc HS) contributed six points and five rebounds.
Michigan, which advanced to the championship game with a 55-52 upset win over No. 4-ranked UCLA less than 24 hours before tonight's tip, had trouble finding a rhythm on offense for a majority of the contest. U-M finished the game shooting just 36 percent from the field (19-of-53), including 27 percent from three-point range (6-of-22).
Duke extended a 39-31 halftime lead to 14 points by putting together an 8-2 run while limiting the Wolverines to just two free throws in the first 3:39 of the second half. Harris kept Michigan in contention by scoring the team's first nine points of the half, including a fast-break dunk that cut Duke's advantage to 47-38 with 15:14 left in the game.
U-M had difficulty gaining any further momentum as the Blue Devils held the Wolverines without a field goal for a span of 7:04 while pushing their lead to 59-42 at 8:37. Harris and Sims gave Michigan hope by combining for the team's next 12 points, but U-M was unable to draw any closer than 65-53 in the remaining minutes of the game.
Duke jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the first 3:06 of the action, converting on four-of-six attempts from the field while limiting the Wolverines to just a pair of Harris free throws. Gibson stepped up and delivered back-to-back layups to narrow the gap to 9-6 at 14:36.
With the Blue Devils leading 12-6, Grady came off the bench and promptly hit the team's first three-pointer before draining a soft baseline jumper to keep the Duke lead at 14-11 with 12:32 remaining in the first half. Sims followed Grady's lead as he entered the game and collected a pair of baskets to cut the deficit to 17-15 at 11:02.
Duke came out of the television timeout and strung together an 8-0 run over a span 1:55 to extend its lead to 25-15 with 8:57 left until the break. The Blue Devils sustained a double-digit cushion over the next three minutes of play until freshman Stu Douglass(Carmel, Ind./Carmel HS) knocked down a triple in transition to trim the Duke advantage to 29-22 at the six-minute mark of the first half.
Michigan scored five unanswered points in the closing minutes of the half, with junior/sophomore Anthony Wright(Sterling, Va./Oak Hill Academy) draining a three-pointer and Gibson slamming home two off fifth-year senior C.J. Lee's (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland HS) steal, resulting in a 35-29 Blue Devil lead with 2:42 to play. Duke responded with four quick points, but Harris hit a tough jumper in the final minute to keep the deficit in single digits, 39-31, heading into the break.
Michigan will return home to Crisler Arena to host Norfolk State on Tuesday (Nov. 25) at 8:30 p.m. The game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423