When the Michigan Wolverines finally hit the hardwood, put in arguably one of their sharpest performances so far. After a quick 6-5 Harvard lead, the Michigan went up 11-6 and never looked back. Thanks to offensive burst from Dion Harris and Ron Coleman, the lead quickly grew to 22-8. Coleman slashed his way through the Harvard defense more and more as the game progressed, helping push the score to 29-11. The Romulus native would finish the game with a career-high 20 points.
"I was just being aggressive“ said Coleman after the game. “I thought on Wednesday I wasn't being as aggressive I knew I could be. And all my teammates -- Dion (Harris) and Lester (Abram) -- were getting me the ball at the right times. I was also using the dribble, getting to the rim and scoring that way too."
The Wolverine defense shined in the first half holding the Crimson to 6-of-22 shooting from the field while out rebounding them 23-15. That's exactly the kind of effort that Amaker wants to be the staple of this year's teams.
"Well, that's been our identity” said Coach Amaker of the Wolverine D. “We've been very pleased in that every game we've come with great effort and intensity on the defensive end. Our kids have really bought into pressuring and making things really difficult for our opponents. Really what we tried to emphasize is not to let them run what they've been practicing. So as far as coming down to one-on-one drives, are we going to be good enough and tough enough to be able to defend the ball without fouling. And I thought we set the tone with that very early."
The Wolverines maintained their 18-point advantage, and took a 39-17 lead into the break. When they emerged from the halftime locker room, they came out and finished the job. The defense continued to stifle the Harvard offense and the Wolverines created 13 turnovers for the half. The aggressive defense led to eight of their first ten points to open the second session. Freshman forward Ekpe Udoh turned in an impressive night as he finished 5/5 from the field and was smothering on the defensive end of the court.
"He is long and is a player that we expect those kinds of efforts from” said Coach Tommy Amaker of Udoh.
Senior Brent Petway got in on the block party as well, stuffing four Harvard shots on the night. Center Courtney Sims turned helped pad the lead in the second half, connecting on five of six from the field along six rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
"I am really pleased with Courtney” said Amaker of his senior center. “One of the things that we've been working on with him is being more consistent. He's been able to string games together.”
With seniors Dion Harris and Lester Abram also contributing 10 points a piece, the Wolverines were able to finish the game strong with an 82-50 victory.
The 5-0 Wolverines will next hit the hardwood Wednesday (Nov. 22) when they play host to Youngstown State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 PM.