Michigan Survives 70-67

The Michigan basketball team met Northwestern in Evanston, Illi., with a much needed Big 10 win on the line. The Wolverines finished with 26 points from Manny Harris and picked up the overtime win by the score of 70-67. Harris scored 25 of his 26 points after halftime in the win that keeps Michigan's NCAA hopes alive.

EVANSTON, Illi. - The Wolverines basketball team picked up a much needed 70-67 win over the home Northwestern Wildcats on Sunday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Manny Harris, who had just one point through 20 minutes, finished with 26 for the Wolverines, who are now 16-10 on the season and 6-7 in Big 10 play.

Down 27-25 at the half, Harris scored Michigan's first nine points of the second half, part of a 9-2 run, to put Michigan up 34-29 just four minutes into the final 20 minutes.

John Shurna snapped the run with 16:09 to play following a Northwestern timeout.

After DeShawn Sims re-established the five-point lead with a basket in the paint on Michigan's next possession, Northwestern surged back in front.

The Wildcats hit from deep, then Kevin Coble scored four straight, a pair of free throws and a jumper off the glass, and, with 11:45 to play, Michigan again found itself down two, 38-36.

Laval-Lucas Perry put the Wolverines back on top with a three ball from the left corner, but the Wildcats answered with a back door cut and a lay up off an inbound under Michigan's hoop to go up 42-39.

Free throws from Lucas-Perry and C.J. Lee pulled Michigan back to within a pair at 44-42 nine minutes to play. Northwestern scored in transition to push it back to a four point lead on its next possession, though.

The teams traded free throws over the next five minutes of the contest. With both teams getting into the double bonus with over six minutes to play, a pair of Harris free throws made it 51-49 Northwestern with 5:43 left.

DeShawn Sims tied it with a bucket with four minutes left, and, after a pair of empty Northwestern possessions, C.J. Lee put Michigan up 52-51 at the free throw line.

With 2:20 to go, Harris stole an errant Northwestern pass and took it end-to-end to extend the lead to extend the Michigan lead to 54-51.

A lay up didn't fall for the Wildcats on its next possession, and Harris hit again, this time from just behind the free throw line.

The Wildcats put together a run to draw back within striking distance in the final two minutes. A back door lay up followed by a pair of Michigan turnovers put the ball back in Northwestern's hands with Michigan up three and 28.6 seconds left on the clock.

Coble capitalized on the Michigan miscues to tie it with 19.7 to go, and Michigan turned it over again on the games final possession, but Northwestern was unable to get off a shot before the buzzer.

In the extra session the Wolverines started with a DeShawn Sims dunk on the opening possession. Coble answered with a pair of free throws on the Wildcats first possession.

Harris put Michigan back up 60-58 with a jumper from the elbow with 3:30 to play. Then the Wolverines forced a defensive stop and Harris scored again, this time slashing to the hoop. Manny then scored two from the line to put Mihcigan up 64-58 with two minutes to go in overtime.

DeShawn Sims fouled out with 59.9 seconds to go on a questionable call that sent Coble to the line for three shots. He connected on all of them to trim Michigan's lead to just a point.

On the ensuing Michigan possession Harris earned a trip back to the free throw line after being fouled on his way to the hole. He made good on both to make it 66-63 with 35 seconds.

Northwestern scored from in the paint with 15 seconds left, and sent C.J. Lee to the line.

Lee hit both to make it 68-65.

Northwestern missed from deep with 10 seconds to play, and Zack Gibson pulled down the rebound and iced the game with a made free throw with seven seconds left.

Northwestern got back within two with 1.1 seconds left on the clock, but Michigan got the ball in bounds and ran off the remainder of the time.

Neither team established a significant lead over the first 20 minutes of action. Four ties and seven lead changes kept the action tight as the Wolverines trailed the home Wildcats 27-25 at the break.

Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims scored the first three points of the game for the Wolverines, but Northwestern held Michigan's top two scorers off the board for the final 19 minutes of the half.

Michigan opened leads of 3-0 and 6-4 in the opening two and a half minutes of the contest. After Harris and Sims scored the Wolverines first three points, Zack Novak connected on the first of two first half three-pointers 2:22 into the game.

Northwestern's Craig Moore answered with a three-pointer of his own, and the NU Wildcats put together a 7-0 run when John Shurna added a put back plus a pair from the free throw line.

At the 9:58 mark the teams battled back to even with a 15-15 score. With the Wolverines trailing 11-6, senior C.J. Lee hit from behind the arc. Laval Lucas-Perry converted a Northwestern turnover into an old fashioned three-point play to cut Northwestern's lead to one. After a Kyle Rowley put back for Northwestern, David Merritt knotted the score with Michigan's third triple.

The two teams exchanged buckets before Anthony Wright put Michigan up 20-17 with his first made field goal, an open look from the right corner, and after three from the line from Northwestern's Kevin Coble, Michigan's Novak made it 23-20 with his second three-ball of the stanza.

Northwestern ended the half on a 7-2 run.

The Wolverines next return to action Thursday night when hosting the Minnesota Golden Gophers. It'll be the first of two between the two schools in the final month of the Big 10 season. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

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