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.
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
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