TORONTO, Ontario -- With five players scoring in double figures and all 14 players getting into the game, the University of Michigan men's basketball team defeated G.T. Express 95-52 today (Saturday, Oct. 11) in the Athletic Center at the University of Toronto in the opening game of a three-game Canadian exhibition tour.
Sophomore Lester Abram (Pontiac, Mich./Northern HS) led all Michigan scorers with 15 points, while freshman Brent Petway (McDonough, Ga./Griffin HS) had 14, freshman Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) had 13, senior/junior J.C. Mathis (Brooklyn, N.Y./John F. Kennedy HS) had 12 and senior Bernard Robinson Jr. (Washington, D.C./New Hampton Prep, N.H.) had 11. Sophomore Graham Brown (Mio, Mich./Mio-AuSable) scored nine points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
After two Wolverine turnovers, U-M trailed early as G.T. Express hit two three-pointers to open the game and take a 6-0 lead. But the Wolverine offense got into rhythm as they took the lead on their next four possessions, 7-6, and never trailed again in the game. The lead quickly grew to 20 points as the trio of Abram, Robinson and Mathis, handled the G.T. Express pressure and miscues, scoring 34 of the Wolverines' 49 first-half points.
With the game in control, Michigan coach Tommy Amaker was able to play all 14 players throughout the second half as the lead grew to as much as 34 with 11 minutes remaining. Junior/sophomore Dani Wohl (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield HS), with five points and three assists, sophomore/freshman Amadou Ba (Mauritania, Africa/Bridgton Academy, Maine), with eight points, and Petway, scoring all of his 14 points in the second half, helped the Wolverines control much of the second stanza.
Michigan will continue its exhibition tour of Canada with a game against the University of Guelph on Sunday (Oct. 12) in Guelph, Ontario. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Q U O T E S
U-M Head Coach Tommy Amaker
On the opening exhibition game ... "I thought we played with great energy. We had a chance to be very unselfish and we played hard. I thought we played the way we have been practicing. I was very impressed and pleased with a lot of things. Certainly we showed a lot areas we need to improve, but for our first time after 10 practices this early in the year, I am very encouraged for the prospects for this year."
On being able to get all 14 players into the game ... "We really wanted to be in a position where everyone could play. It worked out in our favor. I thought we were very mature about having the lead we had and continuing to push out in front to protect that lead. We had a chance to play everyone and that is a great moment for this team at this juncture. We have two more games to play and three games in three days so we need to be fresh and we need to be ready. It was important that we were able to play a lot of bodies. I thought our play didn't drop off. I was very impressed that we played the right way for the majority of this ballgame."
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423