Dec. 10, 2011
Site: Auburn Hills, Mich. (The Palace of Auburn Hills)
Score: #20 Michigan 90, Oakland 80
Records: U-M (7-2), Oakland (6-4)
Next U-M Event: Tuesday, Dec. 13 -- vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Crisler Arena), 7 p.m.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team (No. 20 AP/No. 19 ESPN/USA Today) used three 20-point scorers to defeat Oakland, 90-80, on Saturday (Dec. 10) at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The Wolverines shot 57 percent (31-of-54) from the floor and 54 percent (15-of-28) from behind the arc for the game.
Sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (Miami, Fla./Palmetto Senior) scored a team-high 21 points, while sophomore forward Evan Smotrycz (Reading, Mass./New Hampton Prep [N.H.]) and freshman guard Trey Burke (Columbus, Ohio/Northland HS) each tallied a career-high 20 points. Smotrycz added nine rebounds, while Burke dished out nine assists to match a career best.
The high-scoring second half got off to a quick start when Hardaway knocked down a jumper on the first possession out of the break. The Wolverines then gained a slight, 40-35, lead after Smotrycz drained back-to-back triples, but the score was set back to even again at the 16:06 mark after an Oakland three-pointer.
Knotted at 49-all with 11:53 remaining in the game, a three-point field goal by Burke was the first of five consecutive makes from behind the arc by the Wolverines. Over the next 3:11, the triples helped Michigan go on a 17-6 run, during which U-M built up a 10-point lead.
Hardaway continued the trend with back-to-back triples of his own. Then, with 10:09 left to play, Burke intercepted an Oakland inbound pass and pushed the ball ahead to senior guard Stu Douglass (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) for a fastbreak layup. After two consecutive defensive stops, Burke nailed another three-pointer to give the Maize and Blue a 63-53 lead.
At the 6:05 mark, Michigan pushed the lead to 12 off a free throw by Burke, but then Oakland tightened the gap with a 6-0 run. U-M quickly returned the favor, scoring on back-to-back possessions.
With a minute left in the game, Oakland knocked down another three-point field goal to bring them within 10 points again, but Michigan went 6-of-8 from the free throw line down the stretch to maintain a double digit lead as the clock ran out.
With a one-point edge over Oakland early in the first half, Michigan went on a 10-0 run, starting with a jumper by senior guard Zack Novak (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) at the 15:14 mark. After a defensive stop on the other end, Hardaway followed the captain's lead, nailing a three-pointer. Smotrycz capped the run, scoring on a layup and a three-point field goal on back-to-back possessions.
After an Oakland timeout, the Golden Grizzles ended their scoring drought with a three-pointer, but Novak answered with one of his own to make the score 18-7 at the 11:46 mark. Over the next four minutes, the teams continued to exchange baskets, during which the Wolverines earned their largest lead of the half, 25-11, after Douglass knocked down a pair of free throws.
However, the Golden Grizzles clawed their way back to tie the game at 32 before the break. The Wolverines were plagued by turnovers over the last seven minutes of the first half, which led to 10 points on the offensive end for Oakland.
The Wolverines will return to Crisler Arena to begin a five-game homestand when they host Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 7 p.m. on Tuesday (Dec. 13). The contest will be televised live on ESPNU and webcast on ESPN3.com.
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423