Michigan (4-3) went back to the basics to snap a 3 game losing streak as they defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-6) 67-53. DeShawn Sims carried the load in the first half as Michigan’s three-point shooting was still out of whack (3-15). Sims did what you would want a senior to do and he put the team on his back as he scored 15 first half points. The score was tied 32-32 at the half.
Manny Harris keyed a 14-3 run to open the second half and Michigan rolled over the Golden Lions. Harris kick started the drive when he knocked down a three-pointer. Manny scored 11 of Michigan’s 14 points during that run. Harris draining that triple seemed to cure his shooting woes as he connected on 3-of-4 from beyond the arc in the second half.
Harris keyed the rally but it was back-to-back blocked shots by DeShawn Sims that ignited the rally. After the game I asked Stu Douglass what was the difference from the first half to the second half. “It had to be the defense our offense came from getting stops. Coach said we got 11 stops the last 15 possessions so that was huge, real huge” said Douglass. John Beilein said Michigan’s defense in the second half was terrific.
Beilein also said during the last two days of practice they went back to the basics. “The last 2 days all we did was get back to the basics, if you run the shell of our stuff there is like 20 different things that can happen that are uncalled. If you read the defense that’s what happens we tried to keep our package small today and get back to what we do before we expand it.” Beilein explained.
To a man the players said they were more patient with the offense today. Zack Novak said, “We were just trusting the offense more, running through some stuff, when we do that just the nature of the offense its going to be more balanced and when your getting good looks you’ve got a better chance of knocking them down.”
DeShawn Sims posted a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Manny Harris scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half. Zack Novak tallied 7 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals.
Despite Harris going 3-for-4 from downtown, Michigan connected on just 6-of-24 three-pointers. Coach Beilein explained it the best he could by saying, “Maybe they’re tired, I do not know. Its very much like baseball with a hitting slump it just grows on you and takes a hold of you we just have to find ways to get it off of us.”
Next: Michigan travels to Utah for a Wednesday night game that is currently scheduled to tip at 11pm EST. Although I have heard they might move it back to 9pm EST. Remember that game is going to be televised on CSTV. If you have DirecTV you will need to order the Sports Pack to have that channel.
Quotes: DeShawn Sims said, “We got our minds right. Today we were ready to play, the team was ready to play today.”