RALEIGH, N.C. -- The University of Michigan mens basketball team suffered its first loss of the 2006-07 season Monday (Nov. 27), falling to North Carolina State at the RBC Center in the Wolverines' first road game of the season as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
The Wolverines (7-1) began the game with authority, looking as though they would dominate for the duration, but surrendered control long enough to fall into a significant hole. Though Michigan attempted a comeback, the Maize and Blue could not regain the lead, 74-67.
Michigan set the pace at the outset of the game, building a 12-point lead on 7-of-14 shooting. But the Wolverines suddenly couldnt find their shot and that, coupled with defensive troubles, allowed the Wolfpack to build a run before halftime and carry it into the second frame. Once the damage was done, U-M found itself trailing by 20 with 12 minutes to play in the contest.
Still, the Maize and Blue refused to back down and, with the help of senior Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) -- who accounted for 19 of Michigans 39 second-half points -- attempted a comeback. Michigan outscored NC State 33-20 in the final 11:34 of play, but it was too little too late, as the Wolverines were handed their first loss of the season.
Harris led the Wolverines in scoring with 24 points, hitting eight shots from the floor, including four from beyond the arc. The senior point guard, who also brought down five rebounds and dished off five assists, was a spark for the Wolverines down the stretch, resilient in his shot attempts until he found a rhythm in the final 10 minutes of the contest.
Junior Ron Coleman (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS) finished with 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting, including three from three-point land, in addition to five rebounds. Freshman Ekpe Udoh (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe HS) rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10, hitting 5-of-7 from the floor to go along with a career-best four blocks.
Senior Brent Petway (McDonough, Ga./Griffin HS) also contributed to Michigans defense on the boards, swiping away five blocks of his own and bringing down nine rebounds. Petway contributed six points on 3-of-8 shooting, including one monstrous dunk.
The Wolverines exploded at the outset of the first half, dominating the floor with solid shooting and holding an advantage on the boards. The Maize and Blue started the game 9-of-16 from the field, at one point holding a 12-point lead, 16-4, over the Wolfpack.
Udoh led the Wolverines in scoring over that stretch, putting together three consecutive field goals for the Michigan cause. At the same time, Petway held NC State defensively, accumulating three blocks in the first half to go along with a dunk that gave the Wolverines a 20-12 lead with 11:06 remaining in the first frame.
But Michigans defense wavered as the Wolfpack mounted a comeback. The Wolverines surrendered a 14-2 run over a five-minute stretch, giving NC State the lead for the first time of the night.
Though the Maize and Blue held on to keep the score from getting out of hand, the two teams headed to the locker rooms with the home team holding a 35-28 advantage.
Things didnt fare any better for Michigan at the beginning of the second half as it did at the end of the first. NC State came out firing, and the Wolverines suddenly found themselves down 55-34 after a 20-6 run over an eight-minute span.
But a spark was lit under the Maize and Blue as Petway, sophomore Jerret Smith (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS) and senior Courtney Sims (Boston, Mass./Noble & Greenough School) strung together seven straight tallies to get within 14 (53-39).
For the remainder of the game, the Wolverines had a slight scoring advantage, but never strung together enough points to regain control. Though Michigan drained five triples in the final 6:25, NC State put up enough points to keep the lead just out of U-M's reach.
The Wolverines were able to get within seven (71-64) with just over 26 seconds to play but ran out of time and had to accept their first loss of the season.
Michigan will have four days off before hitting the hardwood again, hosting Wofford at Crisler Arena Saturday (Dec. 2). Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423