ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team started off a five-game homestand in winning fashion, defeating Bowling Green 74-57 Saturday afternoon (Dec. 13) in front of 10,752 fans at Crisler Arena. The Wolverines (5-1) outscored BGSU by a 29-12 margin from the free throw line and built a lead of as much as 20 points in the first half.
Robinson made nine of U-M's season-high 29 free throws.
Michigan finished with four players scoring in double digits. Senior Bernard Robinson Jr. (Washington, D.C./New Hampton Prep, N.H.)
led the way with 15 points, including 9-of-10 from the charity stripe, while sophomore Lester Abram (Pontiac, Mich./Northern HS)
collected 12 points and three blocks. Senior/junior J.C. Mathis (Brooklyn, N.Y./John F. Kennedy HS)
finished with 11 points and six boards, and sophomore Daniel Horton (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill HS)
netted 11 points and a game-high five assists. Austin Montgomery paced the Falcons with a game-high 18 points.
The Wolverines struck first with a triple from freshman Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) on the first possession of the game. Michigan was held without a field goal for the next four minutes, until Horton buried his first triple at 15:37 to give U-M a 7-4 edge. After a defensive stop by the Wolverines, Abram extended the lead to six points with his first three-pointer. BGSU's Chris Hobson answered with a triple of his own to cut the deficit to 10-7. The two teams exchanged points over the next two possessions, as U-M sustained a 13-9 advantage. Horton's second triple of the game put Michigan on top 16-9 with over 10 minutes left in the half.
Four unanswered points allowed the Falcons to climb back within three points, but a jumper from Robinson from the left wing kept U-M ahead 18-13. The Wolverines gradually built their lead, as Horton and Abram both netted a pair of free throws. A bucket from Mathis and another three-pointer from Abram capped off an 11-4 Michigan run and pushed the lead to 27-17 with 4:38 remaining until the break.
U-M did not allow a Bowling Green field goal for a span of 8:14, and the Wolverines continued to add to their lead. Sophomore Graham Brown (Mio, Mich./Mio-AuSable HS) and Harris each put home a pair from the free throw line and Robinson followed with a lefthanded floater in the lane to make the score 33-19 with under three minutes left until halftime.
Freshman Courtney Sims (Roslindale, Mass./Noble & Greenough School) kept the momentum in U-M's favor with a three-point play down low on Michigan's next trip down the floor. A steal by Horton resulted in a fast-break opportunity for Michigan, and Harris took the pass and layed it in off the glass while being fouled. Harris' free throw capped off the first-half scoring for U-M and extended the lead to a game-high 20 points. Montgomery scored five points in the final minute to cut the U-M lead to 39-24 heading into the break.
Horton, Abram and Harris all finished with eight points in the first frame, while Montgomery led BGSU with nine first-half points. The Wolverines knocked down five of nine from behind the arc in the first half and outscored the Falcons by 10 points from the free throw line.
Michigan got off to a good start in the second half thanks to a basket from Abram and a pair of free throws from Brown. Five unanswered points from Bowling Green made the score 43-30, but a free throw from Brown and a putback slam from freshman Brent Petway (McDonough, Ga./Griffin HS) increased the lead to 16 points. The Wolverines were able to prevent a significant scoring run by the Falcons over the next several minutes, and a dunk from Robinson and tip-in by Sims allowed U-M to keep a 52-41 lead with 12 minutes left in the game.
The Wolverines kept things going on the offensive end, as Abram rattled home a jumper and Brown scored inside to make the score 56-41. Bowling Green would get as close as 64-54, but six points from Mathis and a two-handed dunk from the baseline by Petway put the game out of reach and Michigan went away with a 17-point victory.
With Michigan beginning final exams this coming week, the Wolverines will have seven days off before hitting the hardwood again. In the second of five straight home games, the Maize and Blue will take on Central Michigan on Saturday (Dec. 20) at Crisler Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:05 p.m.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423