ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan basketball team fell to top-ranked Duke University by a score of 104-83 on Saturday (Dec. 8) at Crisler Arena. Duke senior All-America guard Jason Williams led all scores with a career-high 35 points, including seven three-pointers. Three other Duke players scored in double figures, including 23 from Carlos Boozer and 16 from Mike Dunleavy.
Senior center Chris Young (Plymouth, Mich./Catholic Central HS)
reset his career scoring high for the second straight game, netting 25 points and collecting three rebounds. In his second game back from injury, senior guard Leon Jones (Battle Creek, Mich./Winchendon Prep [Mass.])
chipped in 11 points, while freshman guard Dommanic Ingerson (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS)
and junior forward LaVell Blanchard (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS)
also reached double figures with 13 and 16 points, respectively.
Williams opened the scoring for Duke with a three-pointer after Michigan misfired on its first possession after winning the tip. Duke's 7-0 run early in the game forced U-M to take a timeout at the 18:29 mark. A minute later, Michigan was able to get on the board with a pair of free throws by Young, making the score 9-2. Another Young basket made it 11-4, but a four-point play from Williams put Michigan down by double digits for the first time. The Blue Devils continued to capitalize on U-M's poor shooting as they scored 10 straight points to extend their lead to 25-4 with 14:50 to play in the first half.
Freshman Chuck Bailey (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King HS) ended the five-minute Michigan scoring drought at 11:57 as sophomore guard Avery Queen (Moreno Valley, Calif./Redemption Academy [N.Y.]) found him alone under the basket for a layin to make the score 29-6 in favor of Duke. Michigan traded baskets with Duke over the next four minutes thanks to back-to-back three pointers by Ingerson, which brought the Michigan crowd to life. During the stretch, U-M was able to force two Duke turnovers and turn them into points.
After the timeout, Young came out strong on defense as he blocked a shot, drew an offensive foul and had a steal. This individual effort led Michigan on a 9-2 run. Jones highlighted the run with a three-pointer and a hard-earned put-back basket to close the deficit to 15, 38-23. Duke forged ahead, however, keeping a nearly 20-point cushion, 46-27, with 2:40 left.
With Blanchard on the bench for nearly 14 minutes as a result of three personal fouls, Young continued to lead the Maize and Blue as he hit a jump shot from the free throw line and then drew another offensive foul on Duke's ensuing trip down the floor. A reverse layup and a free throw by Young gave Michigan life once again going into the final minute of play. However, a layin by Duke's Williams capped the scoring in the half with Michigan trailing 51-32.
Michigan scored on its first possession of the second half as Bernard Robinson Jr. (Washington, D.C./New Hampton Prep [N.H.]) slashed to the basket for a layup and his first points of the game. Duke answered quickly with a 9-0 run generated by three steals, forcing a Michigan timeout with 17:33 to play and the score 60-34. Young drove baseline on Michigan's next possession and converted a layin off the glass. The Blue Devils held fast, though, as a 6-0 burst carried them to 66-36 lead at 15:45.
Over the next four minutes the teams traded baskets, with Michigan gaining a little ground on Duke over that span 11-6. Blanchard scored his first six points of the game during that time. However, Michigan still trailed 72-47 with 11:56 left in the game. Michigan could do no better than trade baskets with Duke, but a Young dunk gave the crowd reason to cheer with just under nine minutes to go and Michigan trailing 83-56.
Over the next several minutes the Wolverines traded baskets with the Blue Devils. Junior guard Gavin Groninger (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield HS) got on the board for the first time during this stretch with a pair of threes and two free throws. Duke was able to answer each time, however, with Williams' and Dunleavy's threes. With 4:31 left in the game Duke still led by a count of 93-68.
In the ensuing minutes, Michigan failed to find an answer for Williams, as he hit three straight treys to put Duke up 102-70 with 3:33 to go. Blanchard connected on back-to-back three pointers of his own, the first of which gave him 1,000 career points.
In the final minutes Michigan was able to close the gap with Jones' three-pointer and Blanchard's pair of free throws that made the score 104-83 with 31 seconds left.
The Wolverines will not see game action for two weeks until the Maize and Blue hosts Washtenaw County rival Eastern Michigan on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 2 p.m. at Crisler Arena.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423