When the Michigan Wolverines hit the hardwood in Tampa to take on the South Florida Bulls Saturday afternoon, they knew they had an advantage. Thus far in the season the Maize and Blue has shown the ability to go ten deep without a huge drop-off. For Robert McCullum's an undermanned USF squad, that spelled trouble.
With what was essentially a six-man rotation, the scrappy Bulls played inspired ball for the first seven minutes. Ypsilanti native James Holmes netted eight of the home team's first 12 points to knot things up at the 13:18 mark. Unfortunately for the Bulls, they just were not able to keep up with the Wolverines pace. Michigan head man Tommy Amaker had his club force the tempo by pressing on defense, and running at every opportunity on offense.
The Wolverines attacked the basket in transition, earning easy lay-ups and/or trips to the free throw line. Lester Abram was the most frequent visitor to the charity stripe in the first half, converting all seven of his opportunities. Michigan's aggressiveness was awarded in with a 19-0 run over seven minutes to put them up 31-12 with 5:02 to go. Melvin Buckley finally ended the Bulls scoring drought with a short jumper, but Michigan kept up the pressure and went into the half up 39-19.
After the intermission Amaker's squad kept stepped on the gas peddle even more to put the game away. Courtney Sims and Daniel Horton scored six points apiece on a 17-4 run to go up 56-23 with 11:37 to go. The Bulls never seriously threatened after that, and Wolverines coasted to the 68-47 victory.
On the game the Michigan was led by Lester Abram with 18 points and Daniel Horton with 16 points, five assists, and five steals, while James Holmes led the South Florida with 20. For the complete boxscore, click here.
With the victory Michigan moved its record to 7-0…the program's best start since the vacated 96/97 campaign. The best start prior to that was in 88/89 when the eventual national champs won 11 straight. This year's Wolverines attempt to keep their unbeaten streak alive when they face the 16th ranked UCLA Bruins next Saturday. The game will tip at noon at Crisler Arena.
Daniel Horton takes it up - Photo credit, Chris O'meara/AP
Abram scores in transition - Photo credit, Chris O'meara/AP
Courtney Sims defends USF center Solomon Jones - Photo credit, Chris O'meara/AP
Chris Hunter slams on home - Photo credit, Chris O'meara/AP