The Michigan mens basketball team extended its record to 3-0 Saturday night at Crisler arena with a hard-fought victory over Butler, as Daniel Horton made six straight free throws in the final half-minute of the game.
Center Courtney Sims scored 18 of his 21 points in the first half (he went 10-14 and also added 7 rebounds and a block) as the Wolverines scored the last eight points of the half to take a 37-29 lead into the lockeroom.
Michigan extended it's lead to 10 early in the second half -- then Butler put on a run. The Bulldogs scored 13 straight points -- and at the 11 minute mark the Wolverine found themselves down by eight, 61-53.
Michigan clawed back behind the play on both ends of the court of Daniel Horton, and it was 61-60 Butler at the seven minute mark. The game see-sawed back and forth from there.
With 49 seconds to go the score was knotted at 70-70 -- and it was Daniel Horton Time. Horton made a basket (72-70), then two free throws (74-70), the Butler answered (74-72), then Horton made two more freebies, and yet two more to seal the victory.
Horton finished the game with 28 points, seven assists, four rebounds and four steals. Lester Abram contributed 15 points (6-9 shooting including two 3-pointers) and four rebounds. For the game, Michigan shot 54.4% from the field, 41.7% from the three point circle, and 84.6 % from the charity stripe. The Wolverines committed just nine turnovers.
So why was the game so close? Butler shot 51% for the game, 39% on three-pointers, and 92% from the free throw line (100% in the second half).
Michigan's next game is Tuesday night at Crisler Arena versus Miami in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Men's Hoops to 3-0: U-M 78, Butler 74
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