LaVell Breaks Loose
Junior LaVell Blanchard erupted for a season-high 26 points in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Blanchard shot 9-for-14 from the field and connected on an impressive 71.4 percent from behind the arc (5-of-7). Blanchard also posted six rebounds and three steals in the game, playing a team-high 39 minutes.
Junior guard Leon Jones reached the 600-point plateau for his Michigan career with nine points against Northwestern. Jones currently has 602 points.
Senior Chris Young helped extend his season on Thursday with a solid performance. Young recorded his fifth career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. It was the second of the season for the Wolverine center.
With five successful three-pointers against Northwestern, LaVell Blanchard set a career high. His previous high was four against Morris Brown (Dec. 23, 2000). Blanchard converted 71.4 percent of his threes against the Wildcats (5-of-7).
In Elite Company
LaVell Blanchard eclipsed 1,300 career points with his 26-point performance on Thursday. He is only the 21st Wolverine to reach this mark. Blanchard is currently in 21st place on the all-time list with 1,309 points, just 21 points away from Steve Grote (1,330, 1974-77) for 20th place.
Michigan was able to capitalize on its chances against the Wildcats early in the game, outscoring Northwestern 15-3 at the 17-minute mark of the second half. At the end of the game, U-M was able to convert 16 Northwestern turnovers into 19 points, while the Wildcats converted 12 turnovers into only 11 points.
Team Mark Falls
With his 26-point performance, LaVell Blanchard eclipsed Chris Young's 25 points against Duke (Dec. 8, 2001), which stood as the previous team season high for points by an individual.
With 17 points in the first frame, LaVell Blanchard got Michigan off to a strong start and set a personal best this season with the total. Blanchard scored 12 points in the first frame against Eastern Michigan (Dec. 22, 2001) as part of a 20-point performance.
Freshman guard Dommanic Ingerson received his first collegiate start against Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament. Ingerson played a career-high 35 minutes in the contest, breaking his previous best of 32 minutes set against Boston College (Dec. 1, 2001).
Making a Point
Leon Jones was Michigan's starting point guard against the Wildcats, his first start of the season at this position. He had nine points and three assists in a career-high-tying 35 minutes of play at the point.
Big Ten, Big Win
With the 21-point victory against Northwestern, the Wolverines posted their largest margin of victory in the Big Ten Tournament since its inception in 1998. Michigan beat Minnesota by 16 points, 85-69, in the semifinal round exactly four years ago today, on March 7, 1998, en route to winning the inaugural Big Ten Tournament title.
Stepping Into the Second Round
With the win, Michigan advanced past the first round of the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 1999, when U-M defeated Purdue 79-73 in overtime in the first round (March 4, 1999) before falling to Ohio State in the quarterfinals.