The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - December 5, 2005 - 5B
MICHIGAN 71- NOTRE DAME 67
Brown brings his A' game to South Bend
By Kevin Wright
Daily Sports Writer
SOUTH BEND - Graham Brown was ready
During pregame warmups in Michigan's
game against Notre Dame, the Mio native could
be seen jumping up and down, enthusiastically
offering high-fives to whomever passed him in
the lay-up line.
Brown transferred his energy from warmups
to the court when the game rested in the balance.
After Notre Dame took a 65-60 lead with
three minutes remaining in the game, Brown
responded by scoring the next seven Wolver-
ine points. He posted up in the low block and
powered in a lay-up while Luke Zeller fouled
him. He converted the and-one to bring
Michigan within two.
When Michigan trailed 67-65, Brown came up
with another crucial play. Off an Amaker time-
out, Daniel Horton air-balled a corner three and
Courtney Sims missed a put-back. Brown tipped
in Sims's miss to tie the score at 67.
On Notre Dame's following possession,
Zeller missed a three, and Torin Francis
couldn't convert a put-back attempt. As the
ball bounced around, Brown snatched it
away from the Irish forwards. The senior's
key defensive rebound set up junior Dion
Harris's game-winning shot.
From the beginning of the game, Brown start-
ed the Wolverines' scoring. He took a Horton
pass and finished the lay-up to give Michigan a
From those first two points, the senior made it
clear that the Fighting Irish would have to reckon
with him as well as the Wolverines' main threats
such as Horton and Sims.
"I was just trying to get a couple baskets for
our team," Brown said. "Our guards finally found
me down low, and I got some good post passes."
Though Brown collected six points
in the first half, his real contribution to
Michigan's winning effort came in criti-
cal moments of the second half. In the
last frame, Brown had seven points and
grabbed nine rebounds.
After registering just one board in the first half,
Brown jogged out of the locker room determined
to make a difference on the glass.
Throughout the second frame, the senior
seemed to be everywhere around the bas-
ket, fighting for defensive rebounds and
keeping offensive possessions alive with
With four lead changes and six ties, Brown's
efforts on the glass allowed Michigan to keep
possession and eliminated many second-chance
opportunities for the Irish.
In the first half, Notre Dame dominated
the Wolverines and Brown on the offensive
glass. The Irish continually penetrated into
the lane with the dribble drive and then
dished the ball off to an open post player.
Michigan's frontcourt would rotate, leav-
ing them vulnerable from the weakside
For Notre Dame, Francis and Russell Carter
tallied a combined eight offensive rebounds. In
the first three minutes of the game, Francis col-
lected two offensive boards, creating extra scor-
ing opportunities for the Irish.
Brown recorded his first double-double of
the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds on
"I just wanted to try and go up strong," Brown
said. "Last game (against Miami), I got blocked a
couple of times, and I was trying to go up strong
and just trying to go up to the rim."
But it's not just Brown's statistics that made him
an important factor 'in Michigan's victory over
the Fighting Irish. It's also his attitude. From his
demeanor before the game to his fist pump after
making a lay-up while being fouled with 2:50 left
in the second half, his teammates wouldn't want
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Brown was in every key play for
Michigan down the stretch. He
scored 13 points and collected
10 rebounds for his first double-
double of the season.
The senior guard's 20 points in
the second half kept the Irish in
the game. Hitting deep threes and
finishing in the lane, Quinn ended
with a game-high 26 points.
WHAT DID YOU SAY?
"If you lined him up on the playground
with a bunch of guys, he probably
wouldn't be the first pick, but he'd
probably be one of your most valuable
players." - Senior guard Daniel Horton on senior
forward Graham Brown's importance to the team.
The number of points that Michigan
scored in the last 2:03 of the game.
In that same stretch, Notre Dame did
Player MIN FG FT REB A F PTS
M-A M-A 0-T
Brown 34 6-6 1-1 3-10 1 2 13
Abram 28 0-5 4-4 0-2 1 3 4
Sims 31 4-9 3-4 2-9 1 4 11
Horton 39 7-14 2-2 0-1 7 2 19
Harris 36 5-14 0-0 3-6 3 1 12
Smith 5 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 1 0 -
coleman 15 2-6 0-0 0-2 2 0 6
Hunter 12 3-4 0-0 0-1 1 4 6
Senior Graham Brown played a major role in helping the Wolverines defeat the Irish.
anyone else on their side. the first pick, but he'd probably be one of your
"He's the guy that you love to play with," Hor- most valuable players. I love playing with him.
ton said. "If you lined him up on the playground He knows his role and embraces his role, and you
with a bunch of guys, he probably wouldn't be love playing with guys like that."
17 I 17
Friendly with Francis
Bell takes slight overall lead as
each team has at least one win.
(Last game's points, overall points, single-game wins)
FG%: 46.6 FT%: 90.9 3-point FG: 7-17, .412 (Horton 3-6,
Coleman 2-4, Harris 2-7). Blocks: 6 (Brown 2, Sims 2,
Abram, Horton). Steals: 8 (Abram 2, Horton 2, Sims 2,
Brown, Harris). Turnovers: 13 (Sims 3, Abram 2, Brown 2,
Horton 2, Hunter 2, Harris, Smith). Technical fouls: None.'
Notre Dame 67
reunites with AAU teammate
By Scott Bell
Daily Sports Writer
SOUTH BEND - Both sets of eyes
were fixated solely on the orange ball
that was in the referee's hand. But at
tipoff, beginning Saturday's game,
the sight of Michigan junior
forward Courtney Sims and
Notre Dame senior forward
Torin Francis standing side-
by-side must have looked
very familiar to some.
"We always had a little
rivalry," Sims said. "When
we used to play each other, it would
always be a good game."
That rivalry has its roots from when
the two were growing up in Boston.
The players were in the same league
in high school and also played on the
same AAU team. Though both wanted
their team to win, they both must have
wanted to show up their rival in the
back of their minds.
"In the first half, I was probably try-
ing to rush shots," Sims said. "He got a
hand on my shot, and he usually doesn't
do that. I was trying to do a little bit
too much, but then I settled down and
started executing my normal stuff."
Francis dominated the first half by
outscoring (13 to six), out-rebounding
(seven to five) and generally outplay-
ing Sims. Francis also shot a higher
percentage from the field and recorded
But Sims began the second half with
one of his patented offensive outbursts.
The 6-foot-11 forward backed down his
former teammate and scored over him
to begin the run. Following a Francis
jumpshot that deadlocked the score,
Continued from page 1B
the second period to stifle Michigan runs.
Quinn ended the night with 26 points,
with 20 of them coming in the second
half. But it was Michigan's leading
scorer - senior Daniel Horton - who
was able to shut Quinn down when it
"We stepped up our physical play (in the
second half)," junior Courtney Sims said.
"They came out with a lot energy, and
we didn't match their energy at first. We
weren't being smart."
After Quinn's fourth and final
trey of the half, a bomb with 3:03
remaining that gave the Irish a five-
Sims once again scored on Francis.
This time, he took a Daniel Horton
entry pass hard to the block, gaining
position on the Irish's leading scorer
this season. He calmly pivoted and laid
On the Wolverines' ensuing posses-
sion, Sims secured the ball in the
paint again. This time, he faced
a double-team and kicked the
ball out to junior Lester Abram,
who found Horton open in the
corner. Horton knocked down
the 3-pointer, and Michigan had
its biggest lead of the night.
Sims found himself in foul trouble
soon after, but he still managed a solid
11 points and nine rebounds for the
game. Francis finished with 22 points
and 13 boards, but the number that
eluded him in this matchup against his
rival was one - as in the number of
wins that Sims picked up on Saturday.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME: Whenever
a Wolverine attempted a free throw in
the second half, he had the daunting
task of facing Notre Dame's student
section - the Leprechaun Legion.
Hundreds upon hundreds of students
dressed in green packed the two sec-
tions directly behind the south hoop.
They were mixed with the Irish's stu-
dent band, creating a very intimidating
But as the game came to a close, the
Legion was quiet, and another student
section took center stage.
Tucked away in rows eight through
12 of section 106 - the upper deck
behind the north hoop - were 85 die-
hard Wolverine fans. The Maize Rage
took two buses to South Bend in hopes
of giving its team the support that it
otherwise would have lacked in the
pro-Irish arena. While its numbers
were dwarfed by the Legion, the Maize
Rage could be heard clearly during
some of the second half's numerous
lead changes and certainly made its
presence known after the game.
"I'm really happy with what we did
- not only during the game but also
before the game, chanting the play-
ers' names and after the game as we
chanted and sang while walking out
of the arena," LSA senior and student
section leader Griffin Hickman said.
"It was one of our best road trips in
terms of numbers, and certainly our
THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE:
Lester Abram's two free throws with
1.9 seconds remaining in the contest
secured the win for Michigan, stretch-
ing its lead from two to four.
"I wasn't scared or nervous about
shooting free throws," Abram said.
"I just knew I had to go up there and
In all, the Wolverines were an
impressive 10-for-l1 from the charity
stripe. Their counterparts were 13-for-
18. But when it comes to free throw
shooting, Abram's philosophy is as
simple as can be.
"I just try throwing it in the hole,"
Abram said. "If it goes in, it goes in.
If it doesn't, hopefully I'll get another
When there wasn't the option of get-
ting "another one," Abram made sure
he did his part to secure the team's road
victory. He was a disappointing 0-for-5
from the field, but his 4-for-4 mark at
the line showed he could contribute in
(D. Horton, J. Shepherd,
B. Petway, T. Sanchez,
(19, 92, 2)
(L. Abram, R. Coleman,
J. Smith, K. Price)
(10, 94, 1)
I guess that I can't be too dis-
appointed with my team. Horton
had a solid week, leading the
Wolverines to two victories.
The senior revealed why he is
the leader of this Michigan team
on Saturday when he answered
Notre Dame's runs and came up
big for the Wolverines down the
Unfortunately, the computer
for this low-class fantasy league
doesn't factor in clutch points
which Horton thrives on.
Well, one week I praised the con-
sistency of Lester Abram, and the
next he goes 0-for-5 from the field
in a four-point performance in the
win over Notre Dame.
My real concern, however, is
the play of freshman Jerret Smith.
After impressing fans with an eight-
point, nine-assist showing in the
season opener, he has scored just
two points combined in the last four
games. With his minutes continu-
ing to decline, Smith needs to have
another big game soon.
I'm happy for Graham Brown. He
always does the little things, but on
Saturday, he got in the limelight.
He drew four charges on Wednes-
day, but let's be honest, that doesn't
do jack for my team.
On Sunday, along with 10
rebounds, Brown also tossed in a
season-high 13 points - and didn't
miss a shot in the process.
Michigan actually ran a couple
plays for Brown late in the game.
For my team's sake- and for Mich-
igan's - let's hope this continues.
I guess last place overall isn't any-
thing to be proud of. Then again, a
week ago, I figured my team would
go winless for the entire season. But
calling out DiondHarris seemed to
have worked wonders - he's averag-
ing 14 points in the two games since.
Maybe it's my motivation tech-
niques as his "coach," maybe his
newly shaved head or defenses col-
lapsing on Daniel Horton, but Dion
might have what it takes to carry my
squad. And with Hunter asserting
himself as well, I'm feeling all right.
FG%: 41.4 FT%: 72.2 3-point FG: 6-20,.300 (Quinn 4-7,
Zeller 2-6, Carter 0-3, Fails 0-3, Ayers 0-1). Blocks: 7 (Francis
3, Ayers, Falls, Kurz, Quinn). Steals: 5 (Carter 2, Falls, Fran-
cis, Kurz). Turnovers: 14 (Carter 3, Kurz 3, Francis 2, Quinn 2,
Comett, Falls, McAlarney, Zeller). Technical fouls: none.
Michigan.......... 27 44 - 71 At: Joyce Center
Notre Dame...... 27 40 - 67 Attendance: 11,418
Horton 5 34.2 16.8 2.2 4.4
Sims 5 27.0 13.8 7.2 0.6
Abram 5 32.2 12.4 3.0 0.6
Harris 5 27.6 9.6 3.0 3.4
Hunter 5 15.4 5.8 3.2 0.6
Brown 5 25.0 5.4 7.8 1.0
coleman 5 14.4 4.4 2.6 0.6
Shepherd 4 9.5 2.0 1.8 .25
Smith 5 13.6 2.0 0.8 3.4
Ba 3 3.3 0.7 0.7 0.0
Grooms 2 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Harrell 2 1.5 0.0 1.0 0.5
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Kurz 17 1-2 1-2 1-1 0 3 3
Francis 37 8-16 6-7 5-13 1 1 22
Quinn 40 9-18 4-4 0-2 3 0 26
Falls 28 0-3 0-0 0-2 1 2 0
Carter 33 2-7 0-0 3-7 4 3 4
Cornett 3 0-1 0-0 1-2 0 2 0
McAlarney 9 1-1 2-2 0-0 0 2 4
Zeller 10 3-9 0-3 3-6 2 3 8
Ayers 10 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0
Big Ten O
(C. Sims, G. Brown,
S. Harrell, A. Brzozowicz)
(24, 96, 1)
Michigan 0-0 E
Ohio State 0-0
Mich. State 0-0 !
Penn State 0-0 :
Northwestern 0-0 :
Werall SATURDAY'S RESULTS:
- I IowA 75, Fairfield 67;
7-0 MICHIGAN STATE 72,
5-0 Arkansas-Little Rock 67;
3-0 Michigan 71,
NOTRE DAME 67;
7-1 MINNESOTA 75,
5-1 Coastal Carolina 57;
TEXAS A&M 60,
4-1 Penn State 55;
5-2 NORTHWESTERN 61,
3-2 Delaware State 54;
ILLINoIS 65, Xavier 62;
3-2 INDIANA 79, E. Michigan 63;
3-2 WISCoNSIN 71,
2-3__ Pepperdine 55;
2-3 IowA 72, Valparaiso 59;
EVANSVILLE 75, Purdue 69.
Continued from page 1B
But Notre Dame still had a chance to tie the game.
The Irish looked to Quinn - their leading scorer - to come through in the clutch.
The senior took the inbounds pass and drove into the middle of the paint. He floated a
shot, but the ball rattled in and out of the basket.
Junior Courtney Sims grabbed the ball out of the air but had it poked out of his hands.
The ball rolled out to the wing where junior Lester Abram picked it up and was promptly
fouled. Abram made both free throws, cementing the Michigan victory.
"In the past, we've been down in situations like this and not come out on top," Harris
said. "But (Saturday) we came out on top."
Throughout the second half, Notre Dame fed off the energy of the near-capacity
11,418 fans. After trailing early in half, 39-32, the Irish built a slim 65-60 lead with three
minutes left after Quinn nailed a deep three at the top of the key. The senior scored 20 of
his 26 points in the second frame.
Although Notre Dame seemed on the cusp of taking over the game and dealing the
Wolverines another crushing road loss, Michigan didn't buckle under the pressure and
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
(D. Harris, C. Hunter,
A. Ba, H. Grooms)
(18, 79, 1)
Arkansas-Little Rock at Illinois, 8:00 p.m.
Minnesota at Arizona State, TBA
Michigan State at Boston College, 9 p.m.
Chicago State at Purdue, TBA
Indiana at Indiana State, TBA
Iowa at Northern Iowa, TBA
Delaware State at Michigan, 7 p.m.
Wisconsin-Green Bay at Wisconsin, 8 p.m.
Missouri-Kansas City at Penn State, TBA