The Wolverines sprinted out to an early 7-2 lead over the feisty from Wayne State in the game's first four minutes. Brent Petway made his presence felt right away with two big dunks, but the Warriors weren't intimidated. They went on a 10-4 run, sparked by three pointers from Herb Goliday and Morris Hall to make the score 14-14, causing Coach Tommy Amaker to call a timeout
Dion Harris and Lester Abram responded combining to score almost every point on an ensuing Wolverine run. Harris scored seven straight points (including a three pointer), and Abram followed that up with five straight of his own as part of a 13-5 run that put Michigan back up by double digits (30-19). A late three pointer by Wayne State cut the lead to eight before the two teams headed into the locker room.
With only three first half points from Courtney Sims and a 37% team shooting percentage the game was still a little to close for comfort. That was likely hammered home at halftime because the Wolverines came out extremely determined at the start of the second.
The home team came out and put the defensive clamps on the Warriors, holding them scoreless for the first 5:28. A 9-0 run made the score 39-27, before a three pointer by Darrell Evans stopped the bleeding with14:12 left in half.
Brent Petway continued to ignite the team both defensively and on the boards grabbing 7 more in the second half for a game high 15. Despite his influx of energy and the big run to start the half, the visitors maintained their resolve and made one last run at the home team.
With 10:33 left in the game Wayne State really began to find their mark from the outside. They nailed three three pointers and a number of other contested jumpers to trigger a 23-11 run that made the score 57-52 with 3:33 left in the game.
The Wolverines had gone cold and really needed to answer offensively. That's when junior floor leader Daniel Horton took over and gave his squad just what it needed, as he had a hand in Michigan's next 10 points. First, he found an open Harris (who was off the mark much of the night) for a huge three pointer to move the lead back out to eight. Then, after a picking up a loose ball defensively, he hit Lester Abram going to the basket for a lay-up. He followed that up by bringing the crowd to its feet when he lobbed the ball up to Petway on the break for an empathic slam. The dunk pushed the lead back out to 12 (64-52_ with 1:47 to go. If that wasn't the nail in the coffin, his three pointer in transition the next time down the court was.
After the 67-54 victory Coach Amaker singled out Brent Petway's 11 points and 15 rebounds as a huge key to the game "He was terrific," Amaker said of Petway. "I told our team that he certainly was the story for us. I think he's one of those players that brings a lot of energy, not because of his dunks, but he goes and gets it above the rim on a rebound. He makes plays; he can block a shot. He's an energy guy."
While the Georgia native's individual effort was excellent, Amaker indicated the collective efforts of his players left a lot to be desired. "Certainly I think we have a long way to go," Amaker said. "You have to give Wayne State a lot of credit for how tough and how scrappy they are. I thought we did some good things in stretches, but certainly weren't able to sustain it. Foul trouble played a role, especially on our perimeter players. I'm not really pleased with our intelligence when we were in foul trouble. I don't think we played as smart as we should have and that concerns us. We have a lot of things that we can look at from a film perspective to get better because we have to do it in a hurry."
On the recruiting front, Wednesday marked the beginning of the early signing period and the Wolverines received all three letter of intents. For commentary on Jerret Smith, Kendric Price, and Jevohn Shepherd from Coach Amaker, click here.
For much more on Jerret Smith from his signing day press conference, stay tuned to GBW throughout the day.