In a pregame ceremony, the Michigan basketball team recognized its 2009 senior class, which played its final regular-season game at Crisler Arena. Fifth-year seniors C.J. Lee and David Merritt and Jevohn Shepherd each were honored with his respective family and given a framed jersey during the ceremony.
In addition to celebrating the final game for the Wolverine 2009 senior class, Michigan also honored its four senior managers for their dedication and commitment to the program: Nick Fiani, Andrew Farrar, Michael Harary and Alex Gravlin.
In honor of his final-regular season game at Crisler Arena and being a native of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Michigan played the Canadian National Anthem for outgoing senior Jevohn Shepherd.
With a capacity crowd of 13,751 fans, Michigan had its fourth sellout of the season. Crisler Arena was also at full capacity against Duke on Dec. 6, Ohio State on Jan. 17 and Michigan State on Feb. 10. Overall, it is the 171st sellout in 631 games at Crisler Arena.
For the fourth straight game, Michigan used the starting lineup of C.J. Lee, Stu Douglass and Manny Harris on the perimeter and Zack Novak and DeShawn Sims in the front court.
Michigan played its seventh ranked opponent of the season tonight. Overall, the Wolverines are 3-4 against nationally-ranked programs. U-M's other top-25 wins came against No. 4 UCLA (55-52, Nov. 20) and No. 4 Duke (81-73, Dec. 6).
With the win tonight, Michigan is now 61-80 all-time against Purdue with a 38-30 record in games played in Ann Arbor. In addition, U-M snapped its three-game losing streak against the Boilermakers.
Michigan shot a season-best 63.0 percent against Purdue. The Wolverines finished 29-of-46 from the field. The Wolverines shot 81.0 percent in the second half alone (17-of-21) to help reach the season best.
Michigan shot a season-best 50 percent from long range, going 8-of-16 in the contest. Manny Harris led the way for the Wolverines with three long-range buckets, while Stu Douglass had two.
Michigan equaled the most points Purdue has given up to an opponent this season with 87. Purdue also surrendered 87 in overtime to Oklahoma in the championship of the Preseason NIT on Nov. 28. The Boilermakers are giving up 58.0 points per game this season.
Michigan's 50 second-half points are the most in a half for the Wolverines since they had 55 last season against Oakland on Dec. 12, 2007, in the first half.
In Michigan's last three games, the Wolverines have 57 assists on 76 field goals, giving them helpers on 75.0 percent of their field goals. U-M closed with 18 assists on 29 field goals against Purdue.
With 12 points in the first half, Manny Harris became just the sixth U-M sophomore, and the 27th Big Ten sophomore, to record 1,000 career points. Harris, who is now the 43rd member of U-M's 1,000-point club, joins the Maize and Blue sophomore list of Mike McGee, Phil Hubbard, Jalen Rose, Chris Webber* and Louis Bullock* that accomplished the feat in two seasons. Harris finished the game with 27 points and now has 1,016 career points, ranking him 41st all-time at Michigan in scoring.
Manny Harris' 27 points mark his 12th game scoring 20-plus points in a game this season. It was also the 21st double-digit game of the season for him and the 49th of his career.
DeShawn Sims' 29 points give him a new career high as he finished the game going 13-of-16 from the field. It marks his 25th double-figure scoring game of the season and the fifth with 20 or more points in a game. Sims was able to top the 28 points he had against Duke on Dec. 6. He continues to move closer to 1,000 career points as he sits at 942 in his three seasons.
En route to his career-best 29 points, DeShawn Sims set a new career best with 13 field goals made. He bettered the 10 makes he had on two other occasions -- at Penn State on Jan. 20 and against Duke on Dec. 6.
C.J. Lee started his eighth straight game for the Wolverines. After sitting most of the first half due to foul trouble, he snapped his five-game streak of 30 or more minutes in a game as he closed with 14. He had six points, two rebounds and one steal in the contest.
Manny Harris has now started all 61 games in his Michigan career. He is the only Wolverine on the roster that has started and played in every game of his career.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
On beating Purdue... "It is such a challenge playing them because you can run plays that you haven't even run in practice and somehow they are there. They are just so hard to score points on. DeShawn (Sims) did a great job. We talked about getting the ball to DeShawn more in the past couple days; he can attract their attention and push it back out or he can score. Getting (JaJuan) Johnson in foul trouble, they are a different team without him there defensively, without that shot blocker."
On Manny Harris... "The last two days of practice he was incredible. He really worked his tail off with everything we did. The whole team was like that. There was a lot of adversity there, but he responded."
On responding to the Iowa loss... "Those are things you go through in a season. You just go through them and we bounced back. As soon as we went on the floor on Tuesday (we knew) that Purdue was going to have to play a pretty good game to beat us. We were going to be ready. The first hour and a half we went non-stop, as hard as we could go."
On DeShawn Sims... "Last year, he was learning to pass and a lot of the skills he has right now. He was a shooter who could play inside. We said, 'now you are a big man, small as you are at 6-7 1/2 and we are probably lying there, you are a big man who can shoot.' He has really good post moves and he can shoot it. That three he made at the end of the shot clock was huge as well."
On the seniors... "I got emotional before the game just talking about those three guys. You have the great players and you go through so many seniors through all these years. Some of them you know you might see every now and then. Those guys, I know as we bonded through these years that you will see them again and again. They are going to be some part of Michigan lore. Not the part that some people are, but in my mind, if and when we turn this thing around they will be a big part of it."
U-M Fifth-year Senior Guard C. J. Lee
On winning on Senior Night... "It was a great win. It was a team effort against a great Purdue team. We expected them to come in with a lot of pressure, which they did. We were just trying to combat that by being poised. We did that for 40 minutes and when you put together a solid 40 minutes you usually get a win, and we got a win tonight. I couldn't be happier for my fellow seniors, Jevohn (Shephard) and Dave (Merritt). It is a great feeling to win our last game in Crisler. We hope it is our last game; that is what we are working towards."
On the team's raised intensity and energy... "We have had two extremely good days of practice. I think that was the carry over. We were not happy losing to Iowa the way we did with the way things unfolded, but we knew that if we put together a solid 40 minutes against Purdue, then we would have a chance to win. Every time we play them we play them tough and they have just been able to have a few runs and get the game in their control. Today, we knew if we could get a lead and sustain it, we would have a chance to win."
U-M Fifth-year Senior David Merritt
On winning his final home game... "It was very special. I couldn't go out with two better guys. This team means so much to me; these guys mean so much to me. To get a win against a team like Purdue is really special."
U-M Senior Forward Jevohn Shepherd
On the win on Senior Night... "It felt good to get a win on my way out. I am hoping it is our last game here. The guys brought it together for us. DeShawn (Sims) and Manny (Harris) really carried us tonight. I was in the air the whole time just saying we need this one and they definitely came through for us. Everyone pitched in tonight. We are on a mission and this is just a step in the right direction. Senior Day is over now and we are still working towards the goal we have in mind."
U-M Sophomore Guard Manny Harris
On DeShawn Sims' game... "I have played high school and AAU with him. I have seen all those moves, nothing was a shock. I expect it from him this whole year and I will continue to expect it from him. It was no shock; he is a great player both inside and out."
On his play... "I had a chip on my shoulder. Knowing we were so close in our last game against Iowa until the incident happened. Just knowing how close it was, I had a chip on my shoulder because I knew we could beat the No. 16 team in the country."
On the team's emotion... "These are games we feel we can win with the right focus and work ethic. We are going to go into these games just like we approached this game. We are focused and we feel like we can win these games."
On playing with emotion... "This time of the year, playing for what we are playing for, if you don't have that type of emotion then you shouldn't be here. You have to play with that type of emotion. Coach can't do that for us, it is something you have to want."
U-M Junior Forward DeShawn Sims
On his career night... "I was able to hit shots and I definitely established a rhythm. I was able to keep it consistent throughout the whole game."
On the team's win... "It was definitely a big win against a top team. It was definitely an emotional win for this team and a great one."
On handling Wisconsin's physicality... "They are no different than Purdue. The Big Ten is definitely physical. You just have to come out mentally prepared so you can handle it."
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