The Michigan basketball team closed out the 2004 calendar year with a convincing 75-54 victory in front of 10,786 fans Friday at Crisler arena. Chris Hunter had another impressive effort with 20 points and five rebounds, while freshman Ronald Coleman chipped in with a career high 17 points.
The Maize and Blue used two big runs on the afternoon to blow the game wide open. Ronald Coleman started the game in impressive fashion by scoring 10 of Michigan’s first 17 points, which helped his team cling to a 19-17 lead with 6:35 left in the opening half. That is when the Wolverines erupted for their first run of the night. Chris Hunter sparked a 15-0 spurt with a three pointer and an ‘and-1’ to help Michigan grab a 32-17 lead with 2:30 left on the clock. They maintained that comfortable margin for the remainder of the half and went into the locker room up 38-23.
Asheville cut the lead down to 11 points early in the second half, but seven straight points from Chris Hunter helped hold the visitors off. The opposition was finally put away midway through the stanza the Wolverines went on their second big run of the game. Leading 51-38 with 11:30 left on the clock, an alley-oop from Dion Harris to Brent Petway ignited a 14-1 run that put Michigan up 65-39 on their way to the 21-point victory.
"I think we are growing,” said Michigan coach Tommy Amaker after the game. “I am really pleased with that because we talk about growth and development and we always talk about that if you are going to be a success you have to maximize who you are and where you are. Certainly that is going to change a lot and we have been the recipient of some changes recently. I think we are starting to grow and gel a little better. We have to do that on the road and that is one of the things that we were able to do in Los Angeles. We didn't come up with the victory, but I thought we used that in the right way to win these two games since we came back from the holiday. I think that was really a shot in the arm of confidence for our kids."
The Wolverines open Big Ten play when they play their next game Wednesday night versus the Iowa Hawkeyes.