The first half was a game of streaks and transition baskets. Michigan bolted to an 8-0 lead, then the Bruins answered with a 12-0 run to lead 12-8 -- UCLA's only lead of the game. Michigan quickly went back ahead and clung to a narrow lead for the rest of the half until the last two minutes when Daniel Horton hit two consecutive three pointers to lead the Wolverines on another streak -- this one a 10-2 run as Michigan went into the break leading 36-28.
Michigan opened the second half with tough defense by Horton, Robinson and freshman center Courtney Sims (who had 4 blocked shots for the the game), and by the 13:30 mark the lead was still 8, 47-39.
Then Michigan lost their focus a bit, got careless on defense and gave up several easy baskets, and UCLA closed to 49-46 at the 10:03 mark.
In the strategic turning point of the game, Michigan Head Coach Tommy Amaker quicky switched the Wolverines into a zone defense. The Briuns offense got confused, and the Wolverines got two easy baskets by sophomore center Graham Brown and by Robinson -- 53-46. Michigan went back to the man-to-man, but by the 6:45 they'd kept the momentum to extend their lead to 57-48.
But UCLA was not finished yet. They hit consecutive three-pointers, and with 1:24 left trialed only by three, 67-63.
Tommy Amaker made a second strategic decision, inserting Brown inside along with Sims. Brown made two quick baskets inside and Sims blocked another shot to put the game away.
Horton broke out of hiis recent slump to lead the Wolverines with 19 points. Bernard Robinson, coming off the death of his father on Christmas Day and also his birthday yesterday, had a very steady game both offensively and defensively to finish with 17. Sims finished with 12 points, 4 rebounds and 4 blocks, and Graham Brown added 10 points.
The Wolverines' next game is Tuesday evening, Dec. 30 at home versus Boston University (4-3).
Michigan holds off Bruins, 70-66
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