ANN ARBOR - The Michigan basketball team built a nine-point halftime lead on No. 15 UConn, then held on late Sunday afternoon at Crisler Arena to improve to 10-7 on the year with a 68-63 win over the Connecticut Huskies.
Michigan was led offensively by 18 points by junior Manny Harris, plus 13 and 10 from secondary scorers Zach Novak and Stu Douglass. Senior forward DeShawn Sims was limited to just eight points by the Huskies, but four of the eight came in the final moments, plus the Detroit product added a team high 11 rebounds.
UConn saw Kemba Walker, Gavin Edwards, Jerome Dyson and Stanley Robinson all score in double figures, but the Huskies struggled shooting from distance going just 1-for-11 from behind the arc in the five-point loss.
Over the games first six minutes the Huskies looked poised to run Michigan out of the building surging to an early 12-6 lead. Sophomore sharp-shooter Stu Douglass answered the Huskies run, though, with a pair of three-pointers to draw Michigan even 12-12 with 12:51 to play in the first half.
The triples sparked a 17-2 Michigan run over the next five minutes, the Wolverines getting three more triples, two from Laval Lucas-Perry and one from Anthony Wright, and Manny Harris added two as Michigan built a 23-14 lead.
Michigan maintained that nine-point advantage through the break adding two more from Harris, Douglass and Zack Gibson, plus tacking on another Anthony Wright long ball. The Wolverines led 32-23 at the half.
UConn opened the second half with a 7-2 run over the first three minutes of the final half to pull the visiting Huskies back within four at 34-30. Then, following a pair of Gavin Edwards layups, the Huskies tied the score 39-39. With 10:52 to go Jerome Dyson added another layup to put UConn on top 47-45.
Michigan answered with a pair of Manny Harris free throws, plus three points from Novak. Then DeShawn Sims and Manny Harris helped Michigan build a 54-50 lead. Kemba Walker matched the Michigan points, though, and with 1:53 remaining the teams remained deadlocked 58-58.
Zack Novak snapped the tie with a three-pointer from the top of the key. On the Huskies ensuing possession Kemba Walker turned it over to Stu Douglass, who found Manny Harris for a transition layup. Over the final minute the Wolverines iced the game at the free throw line winning a 68-63 decision.
The Wolverines next return to the floor Wednesday night for a critical road contest in Madison, Wis., against the Wisconsin Badgers. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. at the Kohl Center.
Michigan Downs No. 15 UConn
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