Wolverines Win in Beilein's Debut

The Michigan basketball team officially opened the John Beilein era on Friday night at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor. DeShawn Sims led all Michigan scorers with 23 points, including 11 of the first 13. Freshmen Manny Harris and Kelvin Grady and sophomores Zach Gibson and Ekpe Udoh also broke into double digits for Michigan in an 82-55 season-opening win.

Tonight was the open of the John Beilein era of Michigan basketball, but it was sophomore wing DeShawn Sims who stole the show.

With a game-high 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting, Sims, who scored 11 of the Wolverines first 13 points, paced the Michigan Wolverines past the Radford University Highlanders 82-55 on Friday night at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor.

"I aspire to be an aggressive player. I come out not fearing anything, rebound and attack the basket," said Sims who was responsible for the early 13-7 Michigan lead.

"We practice hard, so a lot of our practices are really intense. It was just like practice. We just want to go to the basket hard."

Up 13-10 after Sims early run, it took a collective team effort to extend the lead to double digits with seven minutes left in the first half. Six different Wolverines scored the Maize and Blue's next 17 points, including triples from K'Len Morris and Anthony Wright, and by the time Sims scored his 14th point of the game with an and one dunk, the Wolverines lead had grown to 30-19 with halftime approaching.

At the end of 20 minutes, the Wolverines held a 30-21 advantage on the scoreboard. Starting center Zach Gibson also chipped in 10 first half points.

The Wolverines pulled away further in the final half. Behind 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc by freshman guard Kelvin Grady, the Wolverines lead swelled to near 30 points. Grady, who started in place of an injured Jerret Smith, finished with 11 points, all in the final half.

Fellow freshman Manny Harris also added seven more second half points to finish with 13 in his first regular season game as a Wolverine.

"They do seem to understand the flow of the game a little better tonight compared to against Ferris. They have a high passion for understanding the game and that is great to see from freshmen. The next step in the learning process for them is to learn to play through fatigue," said Beilein.

Ekpe Udoh and DeShawn Sims both also added six second half points. When the final seconds ran off the clock, the Maize and Blue held an 82-55 advantage on the scoreboard.

Martell Mcduffy led Highlander scorers with 13 points.

Michigan's next game is scheduled for Sunday at noon. The Big 10 Network will provide live coverage as the Wolverines look to go 2-0 under John Beilein.

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