DeShawn Sims' last-second shot with 0.8 left in overtime helped the Wolverines overcome a 20-point deficit and complete the comeback win for U-M. It was the 87th overtime game for U-M in program history and improved U-M's record in those contests to 55-32.
Michigan's overtime game with Savannah State marked the first extra-time game for the Wolverines since U-M won in double overtime, 87-84, against Notre Dame on March 20, 2006, in the second round of the NIT.
Michigan outrebounded its opponent for the second straight game (31-19). Last game, U-M outrebounded Norfolk State, 53-to-37.
Savannah State opened the first half shooting 71.4 percent (15-for-21) to build a 20-point halftime lead, 39-19. The Tigers shot 33.3 percent (6-for-18) in the second half as the Wolverines erased the deficit, outscoring SSU 37-17 to send the game to overtime.
DeShawn Sims improved his double-figure scoring streak to six straight games after a game-high and career-high-tying 23 points. The 20-plus point game is the fourth in his career. Manny Harris kept pace as his 22 points also gave him six straight games scoring in double digits. In fact, four of Harris' six games this season have been 20-plus point games.
Along with his career-high-tying 23 points, DeShawn Sims hauled down a career-high-tying 12 rebounds, marking his second double-double of the season and the third of his career. He equaled the career-best marks for points against Radford (Nov. 9, 2007) and for rebounds against Michigan Tech (Nov. 11) in this season's opener.
DeShawn Sims made his first three-point field goal of the season on a bank shot to start the second half. The long-range bucket helped U-M snap a 0-for-8 drought in the first half. Sims finished the game 1-for-2 from long range.
For the third time this season, Manny Harris made over 10 free throws in a game; he was 14-for-14 from the charity stripe. The 14 free throws made tie a career best. He set the mark against Western Kentucky (Nov. 24, 2007) at the Great Alaska Shootout last season. Harris is 50-for-57 (.877) this season from the line.
Manny Harris nearly posted his third double-double of the season after a nine-rebound performance. With DeShawn Sims garnering 12 today, both Wolverines are tied for the team lead with 8.0 boards per game.
Manny Harris' 42 minutes set a new career best, topping the 38 he had at Wisconsin on Jan. 22, 2008. DeShawn Sims also had a career best with 38, bettering the 36 he played at Minnesota on Feb. 21, 2008.
Zack Novak had three key three-pointers and finished 3-for-7 from beyond the arc. Overall, U-M finished 4-for-22 from long range.
Manny Harris has now started 38 straight games and has not missed a start in his career. In addition, fellow classmate Kelvin Grady came off the bench to play in his 38th straight game.
For the sixth straight game, Michigan had David Merritt, Stu Douglass and Manny Harris starting on the perimeter and Anthony Wright and Zack Gibson starting in the front court.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
On the game... "When you are coaching a long time, you understand that anything can happen on any given night. I'm not pretending that we are Duke, UCLA, North Carolina or anyone like that -- and I can't say that we didn't come to play. Some nights you just have all kinds of things go wrong and you have to hang in there and deal with it. It's key that we just came back. We didn't deserve to win the first half. We did deserve to win the game from the way we played in the second half. A lot of teams could just quit on that. I loved the way we just stayed in there. We still didn't have an awful lot of breaks go our way, but we won and in the long run that's what it comes down to."
On what he said at halftime... "You try to think about what you need to do. We were clearly rattled at halftime and we didn't need a coach that was going to go in there and rattle them some more. It wasn't as if they weren't trying. They just got rattled. So we said 'I don't know if Michigan has ever come back from down 20 at halftime, but if not, let's be the first one'."
On Zack Novak's missed dunk at the end of regulation... "We'll talk about it and he'll have to deal with that. He made a choice and who knows if he doesn't miss the layup. You are going full speed and there are 2.3 or 1.3 seconds, you are trying to get it up there. I think that is a more difficult shot than you think. When in doubt, I would rather have a kid dunk and miss it if he's one on zero than go up and be afraid to miss."
On where the team goes from there... "I know they didn't want to deal with the coaching staff after a loss like this. I know they will be happier going into practice, but it is what it is now. We have to look at that game and say 'we have a lot of areas we have to improve.' Men's basketball here at U-M, we are growing, we are not the fruit on the tree yet, we are still growing. We have to understand that every game we have to come ready to play and deal with whatever is given to you. Obviously, the Maryland and Duke games are at a different level than the Savannah State game, but we can't worry about that -- just one at a time.
U-M Fifth-year Senior Guard David Merritt
On the win... "It means a lot. Last year we had a couple games where we got down and we would come back, but we weren't able to get over that hump. Today everything was thrown at us. They shot incredibly well in the first half; had us down by 20, but we ever gave up and that paid off in the end."
On the tough challenge from Savannah State... "It is really good for us. These teams come here and expect to win. They want to upset Michigan, so we have to be on our toes. We have to come in here and respect our opponent and know we are going to be in a dog fight. If we come in like we did today and they get up on us then we need to change our mentality. So it is very good for us to see where we are as a team."
U-M Junior Forward DeShawn Sims
On going to overtime... "The end of regulation was kind of tough, but it was good that we had a chance to go to overtime. We played great down the stretch and we managed to carry that momentum into overtime. That Savannah State team is a good team; they have a lot of quick guards. They challenged us at home and we prevailed."
On the game-winning shot... "I just shot it regularly. You shoot shots to go in and it went in. When the ball is being brought up, we are taught to be an outlet on the sidelines, so I was just out there as an outlet and Manny (Harris) found me and I made the shot."
On the adjustments in the second half... "They hit all those lucky shots in the first half. They were good. They didn't miss a shot so we couldn't get the rebound and run like we have been running because they didn't miss their shots. We played solid defense, but they just kept hitting shots. In the second half, we stepped up our intensity and pressure and didn't give them a chance to shoot those shots."
U-M Freshman Guard Zack Novak
On coming back in the second half... "It shows a lot of what we are made of. To go down like 20 like that, you got to give credit to them. They played a great game, especially that first half when they were hitting everything. We just fought and never gave up. We could have easily gave up and imploded, but we didn't."
On missing the last-second shot to win the game... "I saw Manny (Harris) out ahead. I was looking to pass it to him, but I saw the clock and went to the hoop strong. It was just instinct. It just didn't fall for me. If we lost the game, it would have been worse, but we came back to win and that makes it easier to learn from."