At 19-12 overall and 9-9 in the Big Ten, Michigan has nearly doubled its win totals of 10-22 overall and 5-13 in conference from a season ago.
With the 12-point comeback win, Michigan swept the season series with Minnesota, 2-0. The Wolverines also won 74-62 at Crisler Arena on Feb. 19.
Michigan improves to 80-64 all-time against Minnesota with a 28-44 record in Minneapolis. The Wolverines have won three of their last four games at Williams Arena.
Today's game was the third game this season Michigan came back from a double-digit deficit in the second half to win. First, U-M trailed Savannah State on Nov. 29 by 20 in the second half before winning in overtime on a DeShawn Sims' last-second shot. Second, the Maize and Blue trailed by 20 at Indiana on Jan. 7 before coming back to win in overtime. Third, the Wolverines trailed by 12 today but rallied to win, 67-64.
Michigan becomes just the second team to defeat Tubby Smith's Gophers after trailing at the half. Under Smith, Minnesota had a 33-1 record when leading at the half before today. The only other team to rally past the Gophers was Northwestern earlier this season on Jan. 18. After trailing by three at the half, the Wildcats came back to win, 74-65.
With 11 steals, Michigan posts its fifth game this season with double-figure steals. Seven different Wolverines recorded a swipe with Stu Douglass leading the way, matching a career high with three.
Michigan closed the game with 16 assists on its 22 baskets. The Wolverines were led by Manny Harris' six assists.
Michigan had a season-low 13 rebounds as Minnesota outrebounded the Wolverines by 17. Despite the lack of rebounds, U-M forced 18 Minnesota turnovers, which led to 17 points. The Maize and Blue closed with just nine turnovers -- the fourth time in the last five games U-M has had 10 or fewer turnovers in a game.
DeShawn Sims' game-high 24 points give him his 27th game this season scoring in double figures and the sixth 20-plus point game of the season. He closed the game going 8-of-15 from field, 1-of-1 from long range and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. Overall, Sims continues to climb closer to 1,000 career points as he has 983 in three seasons.
Laval Lucas-Perry came off the bench to score a career-best 19 points. He closed 6-of-7 from the field with a 3-for-4 performance from long range. Trailing by 12 points, LLP had 11 of his 19 points in a three-minute span to help the Wolverines pull back into the game and close the game to just two points with under eight minutes to go.
Manny Harris finished the game with 14 points, giving him his 23rd game this season scoring in double figures. He completed the game 5-of-11 from the field with three long-range buckets. He added two rebounds, six assists and two steals in 38 minutes of action. Additionally, Harris moved up three spots on U-M's all-time scoring list; he now has 1,045 career points.
Manny Harris has started all 63 games in his Michigan career. He is the only Wolverine on the roster that has started and played in every game of his career. Stu Douglass is the only other Wolverine to have not missed a game, playing in 31 straight contests.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
Opening statement... "It isn't often that you can get outrebounded 30-13 and win a game. What was key was our defense, although we did allow them to shoot a great percentage, creating the turnovers helped cause the disparity in rebounds, that was 18 times they didn't get to shoot it. That is a unique stat, but our kids just fought hard. Our last two road games were just like this, but they didn't go our way; this one did."
On coming back from down 12 in the second half... "When you go through a season, hopefully you have situations where you're down and your team fights back. We were down 20 at one time at Indiana; we were down at home 20 once at halftime (Savannah State). We were just trying to keep our composure at that point in a very great setting; that was our big thing. Our coaching staff, as much as we could, was trying to show a "yes face" in the huddle. 'Just hang in there guys, hang in there, we have to make a couple of baskets and get stops.' We weren't getting any stops. Four layups for Minnesota to start the second half."
On the play of Laval Lucas-Perry... "As a freshman goes through a year you see this all the time. Freshman shooting percentages are remarkably different from what they are in the in the sophomore or junior year. He is the same guy; he just hasn't been able to make them enough in games. He is learning the defense at our level and just hasnt had as big of a role. Today, when he got it going, those three (triples) in a row, that was a huge difference."
On the game mantra of 'burning the boats'... "When you get into March, in some way shape or form you are about to play your last game, at some point. We don't want to do that yet. The burning the ships idea was Johns (Mahoney) idea. I have given that speech before, John actually researched it, when Cortes burned the ships, which is why we have it in Spanish on the back (of t-shirts). We told the story to the team last night, about what happened."
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