Wolverines Roll Past Chippewas

On Friday, the University of Michigan basketball team kicked of its 2005-06 season in impressive fashion with an 87-60 victory over the Central Michigan Chippewas in the season opener at Crisler Arena. In the contest, the Wolverines were paced by junior center Courtney Sims and junior wing Lester Abram who scored 20 and 19 points respectively.

If there were any doubts about the health of Lester Abram following season ending shoulder surgery last November, they were quickly erased tonight. Only minutes into the game, Abram netted his first points of the season off of a backdoor cut and feed from Daniel Horton to put the Wolverines on top 2-0 in a game they would dominate from start to finish.

"I was a little anxious at the beginning," said Lester Abram about his first game back in almost a year. "I was rushing things and had some turnovers that I shouldn't have had. But throughout the game I was able to slow down and the end result was pretty good I guess."

Courtney Sims added 20 points of his own in the contest and Dion Harris notched 13 points in the 27 point rout.

After the Chippewas tied the game 11-11 early in the contest, Michigan began to flex its muscle with a 13-1 run that put the Wolverines in the lead to stay. Chris Hunter kicked off the run for the Wolverines that put them ahead 24-12.

At that point, the teams would trade baskets until another run would extend the Wolverines lead to 21 points with just under two-minutes remaining in the half. CMU would trim the lead back down to 18 before the half, but the final result was never in question.

Central Michigan started strong in the second half by cutting the Michigan lead down to 11 points. Giordan Watson of Central Michigan kept the Chippewas in the game hitting shot after shot early in the half.

With the lead trimmed to 11 points, however, the Wolverines received a boost from Jerret Smith off the bench. Smith contributed eight points and nine assists, six of which came in the second half. With that said, it was only the team that Smith wanted to talk about after the game.

"It's very important for my confidence, but it isn't about the statistics. I didn't know any of the stats until after the game, I just want to win," said Jerret Smith on his debut as a Wolverine. "I just want to get out there and win every game.

After a three-pointer by Smith started the Wolverines run to push the lead back to 14 points, Michigan would get contributions from the entire roster, including multiple three-pointers by Dion Harris, to push the lead back up to near 30 points.

Central Michigan would trim the lead back to 25 but could get no closer. Michigan is now off until Tuesday when they open the road portion of their schedule with a 7:00 tilt against the Boston University Terriers.

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