Michigan head coach John Beilein was unable to coach today due to acute peripheral vertigo stemming from an inner ear infection. U-M physicians will continue to monitor his status on a day-to-day basis before he will be able to return to the team. Associate coach Jerry Dunn served as acting head coach.
Michigan's win gives the Wolverines a 20-2 all-time mark against Eastern Michigan. The Wolverines have won their last six against the Eagles.
For the second straight game, Michigan used the starting lineup of David Merritt, Stu Douglass and Manny Harris on the perimeter and Jevohn Shepherd and DeShawn Sims in the frontcourt.
With 16 three-point field goals, Michigan set a U-M record for triples in a game. It surpassed the 15 the Wolverines tallied against Indiana on Feb. 22, 1998. The record was set when Eric Puls netted a triple with 25 seconds left in the game. Overall, nine different Wolverines hit a trey.
The 33 attempts from long range today set a U-M team record for attempts in a game. The previous best was 32 at Purdue on Feb. 13, 2002.
For the second time this season, Michigan had 20-plus assists in a game; U-M had 24 today. Earlier this season, U-M had 21 against Norfolk State (Nov. 25). The Maize and Blue also closed the game with just five total turnovers.
With Manny Harris' 22 points, DeShawn Sims' 18, Jevohn Shepherd's 13 and Kelvin Grady's 11, the Wolverines had four double-digit scorers in a game for the second time this season. U-M had a season-best five players in double figures against Norfolk State (Nov. 25).
Michigan's 91 points are a season best and is the largest point total since the Wolverines scored 103 against Oakland nearly a year ago to the day on Dec. 12, 2007, at Crisler Arena. It also marked the first time the Wolverines have had back-to-back 80-plus point games since the 2005-06 season. U-M scored 81 vs. Duke (Dec. 6) and 91 vs. EMU today.
Manny Harris picked up two points and two fouls and played just eight minutes in the first half. However, in the second half, Harris caught fire, scoring 20 of his game-high 22 points, including four three-pointers. With that performance, Harris made it nine straight games with double-digit scoring outputs. He leads U-M in scoring with 20.9 points per contest. Today also marked the 13th 20-plus point scoring game of his career and 37th double-figure game of his 41-game career.
With his 18 points, DeShawn Sims has now scored in double figures in nine straight games this season and is second on the team with 16.6 points per game.
Jevohn Shepherd had a career-best 13 points, all of which came in the first half. He closed the game 6-for-9 from the field, which set a career best for makes and tied a career best for attempts.
After Michigan trailed by seven points with under 12 minutes to go in the first half, the Wolverines made a strong run thanks to Kelvin Grady's 11 first-half points. Grady hit three triples in a three-minute span to help the Wolverines close the gap to one.
David Merritt scored a career-best eight points, topping his prior best of seven, which he had on two other occasions.
Manny Harris has started all 41 career games at Michigan. In addition, classmate Kelvin Grady came off the bench to play in his 41st straight contest for the Wolverines. Grady has 25 career starts.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Associate Head Coach Jerry Dunn
On the contest... "In the wake of all of the things that have happened in the past 48 hours, I think our guys did a tremendous job of representing Coach Beilein and a team that is coached by him. They exemplified the things that he is trying to instill in terms of fundamentals. If you look at the box score, we had 24 assists and only five turnovers, we were 16-of-33 from the three-point line, that's Coach Beilein's stamp all over it."
On being the acting head coach today... "I was driving back from Chicago yesterday, on the road recruiting. I didn't know at the time that I was definitely going to have to coach the game today. It was like being back in the saddle again, that's how I looked at it. My main concern was how coach (Beilein) was doing and how our guys were going to react to not having him here."
On the play of Jevohn Shepherd... "I'm just ecstatic with how Jevohn played, especially when Manny (Harris) had foul trouble early in the game. He's really come along in the sense of being more poised on the floor and he has given us another scoring threat. More importantly, he's been very solid on the defensive end of the floor."
On the performance of the team in head coach John Beilein's absence... "It is a great compliment to the teacher, and the leader, that the pupil performed at its optimum when the teacher is absent. That's when you know that you have greatness so to speak in Coach Beilein, because even when he is not here, he is here. They still hear him. We all hear him."
U-M Sophomore Guard Manny Harris
On his strong second half... "I just wanted to come out with some energy and do what I could to help the team win. We wanted to strike first, and I went out there and helped out. I sat out most of the first half with two fouls, so I just wanted to be a leader. I wanted to be aggressive, but if it didn't go that way and we still won, I wouldn't have cared. The first half was bad, with the two fouls, but as a team we did well, and that is all that matters."
U-M Senior Forward Jevohn Shepherd
On his recent contributions... "It feels good. Anyway I can help my team win, that's what makes me feel good, whether it's coming off the bench, supporting my team and cheering them on or anyway possible, but winning is most important. This is my last year and I want to go out with a bang. There are a lot of guys on this team that can step up and tonight was just my night to step up."
U-M Sophomore Guard Kelvin Grady
On his success in the first half... "It was great. I haven't had the opportunity to shoot the ball like that, to be able to come down, feel it and keep shooting after I made a couple. It was great, but it started with the defense and grabbing a couple rebounds. I was able to get out and push the ball, people were running lanes and everyone is opening it up for one another. For our team to continue our success, we have to continue doing that."
On playing without Coach Beilein..."It was a burden not to have our coach here, but he is home and resting. I'm sure he watched the game and I am sure he had a couple smiles after this game today. It was strange. At times I would catch myself, like he was in my head. If I made a mistake, it was like I could hear him talk to me. It really motivated us, him not being here, but he is better and at home and I am sure he was watching. Coach has a great staff and we don't lose a beat with them. All the coaches really stepped up."
On the team's early-season success... "The big wins affect our confidence tremendously. To play those games and come out with a win is a great thing, but we work hard like every other team in the country and we feel like we deserve it. We fight, we work, we will continue to work hard and every opportunity we get to play big teams, to prove ourselves, we are going to do it. It feels good. At this time last year we were looking for answers and now we are just playing and everything is coming so smoothly. It is like a total 360. We are definitely going to enjoy it, we are definitely going to keep working hard and we are going to take every advantage to work our way to the top."
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