Michigan Tramples Mastodons to Get Back on Track

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan basketball team snapped its three-game losing streak with a 91-62 victory over Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne on Tuesday night (Dec. 4) at Crisler Arena.


The Wolverines, playing their second game of a four-game homestand, were led by senior center Chris Young (Plymouth, Mich./Catholic Central HS), who recorded his third career point-rebound double-double, with a career-high 22 points and 10 rebounds. Junior forward LaVell Blanchard (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) chipped in with a season-high 18 points while sophomore wing Bernard Robinson Jr. (Washington, D.C./New Hampton Prep [N.H.]) added 16 points. Jeremy King led IPFW with 16 points.

After a scoreless first two minutes of the game, IPFW opened the scoring with a short jumper to take the early lead. Michigan got its first points of the game just over three minutes in with a Blanchard jumper from the left wing. With both teams continuing to struggle from the field, the Mastodons held an early 4-2 lead going into the first media timeout at 15:53.

The two teams than traded baskets until the Wolverines were able to put together a 13-2 run to take a 19-11 lead, forcing IPFW to take a timeout at the 10 minute mark. Freshman guard Dommanic Ingerson (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS) ignited the run with five straight points as the run was capped off by senior guard Leon Jones' (Battle Creek, Mich./Winchendon Prep [Mass.]) layup in traffic. Michigan twice extended its lead to double digits in the ensuing minutes but IPFW was successful in answering with baskets of its own each time. After a long two-point basket by Robinson Jr., the Wolverines led 32-23 with 6:19 to play in the half.

After a two-minute drought in scoring between both teams, Jones broke through with a free throw but the Mastodons controlled the next few minutes of play with a quick 6-2 run to make the score 35-32 heading into a Michigan timeout at 2:51. Out of the timeout, junior guard Gavin Groninger (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield HS) earned his first points of the game on a triple from the corner. U-M headed into halftime on a 9-2 run after four free throws by Blanchard and a Robinson Jr. layup. The run was aided by four IPFW turnovers.

At the half, Michigan led 44-34. The Wolverines were paced in scoring by Robinson Jr., who had 14 points and five rebounds. Young provided additional offensive support with 10 points and five rebounds of his own. IPFW's first-half attack was led by Nick Wise and Brad Noll, who each had 10 points. Wise scored the Mastodons' first nine points of the game before cooling off.

IPFW opened the second half quickly with four straight points from Wise on a free throw and a three-pointer, but Michigan was able to break back with an 11-2 run highlighted by sophomore guard Avery Queen's (Moreno Valley, Calif./Redemption Academy [N.Y.]) three and a two-handed slam by freshman forward Chuck Bailey (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King HS). IPFW was forced to take another timeout at 15:14 with Michigan ahead 55-40. In between media timeouts, IPFW attempted to close the gap but it was only able to outscore U-M 8-4 during that time, leaving Michigan still ahead 59-48 with 11:47 remaining. The Mastodons fought hard over the next four minutes but were unable to prevent the Maize and Blue from stretching its lead to 16, 71-55 with 7:22 to play.

Michigan essentially sealed the game with a 10-1 run from the seven-minute mark until the last media timeout at 4:25, leading 81-56. During the run Bailey scored four points and Blanchard added three. Senior reserves Rotolu Adebiyi (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron HS) and Herb Gibson (Taylor, Mich./Truman HS) got in late as Michigan iced the game during the final three-plus minutes. Bailey added four more points in the waning minutes to tie his career high of 13 points.

Michigan (3-3) hosts defending national champion and current No. 1 Duke on Saturday (Dec. 8) at Crisler Arena. The nationally televised game on CBS is scheduled for a 2 p.m. tipoff.

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423

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