Wolverines Win Exhibition Opener

The Michigan basketball team opened exhibition action with a Thursday night tilt against Saginaw Valley State tonight at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor. Junior DeShawn and sophomore Manny Harris led Michigan scorers with 19 and 16 points a piece in an 81-55 exhibition win. Freshman Stu Douglass added nine points in his Michigan debut.

ANN ARBOR -- John Beilein and his University of Michigan basketball team opened the 2008-09 season tonight with a Thursday night exhibition against Saginaw Valley State at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor. The two teams exchanged blows through the first half, Michigan eventually heading to the intermission with a 34-30 lead, before the Wolverines rolled to an 81-55 win.

Junior forward DeShawn Sims and sophomore guard Manny Harris led Michigan scorers with 19 and 16 points. In his Michigan debut, Michigan freshman Stu Douglass added nine points, all coming on balls from behind the three-point arc.

"I feel good about some things. I do know that -- you know I am a big tape-watcher -- we can watch the tape now and some of it will be great play. This is what we are talking about, and the other one will be we told you so, this can happen. That's what I like about the exhibition games so much. You learn so much from it without a tremendous amount on the line," said Beilein.

All but one of Michigan's first 17 second half points came off the hands of Harris or Sims. Following an Anthony Wright free throw to open the second half scoring, Harris rattled off five straight. An old fashioned three-point play, plus a penetration lay up, extended the Michigan lead to 40-32.

He pushed the lead back to eight points a second time to push his early second half total to seven points after the teams exchanged three-point plays, Michigan's coming on a deep ball from Sims.

"At times we played quick and we played fast," Sims said, "and sometimes we showed spurts of playing better than we did last year. All we are doing is going out and working hard. I thought we had great hustle. We miscommunicated a few times, but our hustle was there."

The Wolverines lead ballooned to 15 points for the first time of the contest with 8:35 to go in the contest.

That didn't stop the Maize and Blue from piling on the points over the final minutes of the contest. Zack Novak hit from three-point land to make it an 18-point lead just minutes later. A pair of Sims free throws with just over five minutes left made it a 20-point game.

Stu Douglass added his final three-ball of the contest with three minutes left to make it 74-50. the teams would then exchange points until the final 81-55 margin.

The Wolverines open the regular season on Tuesday night at Crisler Arena. The Maize and Blue host Michigan Tech in the first round of the 2K Sports Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ESPNU will provide television coverage.

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