KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team was unable to overcome a 19-point halftime deficit as the Wolverines outscored Western Michigan by 13 in the second frame but fell 79-73 Friday night (Nov. 23) at University Arena.
Junior Gavin Groninger (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield HS) paced the Wolverines' offensive attack as he scored 11 of his team-high 16 points in the second half. The freshman duo of Dommanic Ingerson (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS) and Chuck Bailey (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King HS) added 13 points apiece, while the Broncos' Steve Reynolds dropped in a game-high 28 points.
The Wolverines got off to a quick start as sophomore Bernard Robinson Jr. (Washington, D.C./New Hampton Prep [N.H.]) hit a runner in the lane, giving Michigan a 2-0 lead. The lead would not hold up long though as the Broncos proceed to hit five straight three-pointers en route to a 15-0 run and a 15-2 lead.
Ingerson ended Western's scoring streak when he drove baseline and floated a shot over Rickey Willis, drawing a foul in the process. Ingerson connected on the free throw to make it a 10-point ballgame.
Western then increased its lead to 21-9 as Taylor Bro and Anthony Kann scored on consecutive possessions in the post. Groninger cut the lead to 23-15 as he hit a pull-up jumper along the left wing, but a pair of Bronco threes increased Western's lead to 14, 29-15.
Entering halftime the Wolverines trailed by 19 at 46-27. Ingerson led the Maize and Blue in the first frame with seven points, while Bailey added six points and four rebounds.
Groninger came out in the second half with a hot hand, connecting on his first two three-point attempts, as the Wolverines cut the lead to 51-35. Western again answered back as the Broncos scored nine straight to hold a 59-37 lead.
Following a media timeout at 11:59, junior LaVell Blanchard (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) and Groninger scored off jump shots, making the score 59-43.
Michigan got back within 15 points at the 7:23 mark after a Chris Young (Plymouth, Mich./Catholic Central HS) layup and an Ingerson three-pointer. The three-point bucket gave Ingerson 10 on the night, marking the second straight game in which he has scored in double figures.
Coming out of media timeout Robinson Jr. converted a three-pointer and Ingerson hit his second triple, drawing the Wolverines within nine at 65-56.
The two teams traded baskets for the next two minutes, resulting in a score of 70-60 at 3:43. Sophomore Avery Queen (Moreno Valley, Calif./Redemption Christian Academy [N.Y.]) cut the led to single digits at 74-65 with 2:01 on his first three-pointer of the season, prompting an immediate Michigan timeout.
Groninger brought the Maize and Blue within six with his fourth three of the night. Ingerson then stole the ball on Western's ensuing possession, allowing Bailey to drive the lane and draw a foul. Bailey hit one of two from the free throw line, making the score 74-69 with 1:18 remaining.
Again Ingerson stole the ball from Terrance Slater but missed the layup. Classmate Bailey slammed back the layup, bringing the score to 74-71 with 1:10 to play.
Following a Robby Collum lay-in, Bailey again brought the Maize and Blue within three as he hit a jumper from 10 feet out, making the score 76-73 with 16.5 seconds remaining. The Broncos connected on 3-of-4 free throws in the final 14 seconds to preserve the 79-73 win.
The Wolverines travel to Bowling Green, Ohio, on Wednesday (Nov. 28) to face Bowling Green State University at 7 p.m.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423