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January 08, 2009 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-01-08

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, January 8, 2009 - 5A

After a sloppy first half,
Wolverines amp up the
intensity in OT thriller

Daily Sports Writer
coach John Beilein grabbed his
jacket, picked up his water, put his
head down and started walking
back to the Michigan locker room
at halftime.
Then he looked up at the score-
board to see if that had really just
Against an Indiana team with a
5-8 record and nine freshmen, his
team trailed 39-22.
But Beilein knew exactly what to
focus on.
"The big thing was poise, poise,
poise," Beilein said. "We cannot
win this game if everybody tries to
do it all by themselves. Just don't
lose your poise. And for a young
team, we did pretty well."
Michigan responded by pulling
out a 72-66 overtime victory and
its first win at Assembly Hall since
This isn't the first game the
Wolverines have come out flat this
season against a team they were
expected to beat. Michigan faced
a 20-point halftime deficit before
pulling out a 66-64 overtime win
over Savannah State in late Novem-
The Wolverines (2-1 Big Ten,
12-3 overall) dominated the extra
period thanks in part to 3-pointers
from sophomore Kelvin Grady, who
made his first start of the year, and

redshirt freshman Laval Lucas-
Perry, who poured in a game-high
18 points. Indiana shot just 3-of-9
from the foul line in the five-min-
ute span.
Fifth-year senior guard C.J. Lee
said Beilein's message was to "be
the better team for five minutes,"
and Michigan certainly was.
But to reach overtime, the Wol-
verines had to stay poised while
down by six with less than one
minute remaining in regulation.
After sophomore Manny Har-
ris hit a 3-pointer from the left
wing, Michigan put on the full-
court press. Indiana quickly beat
it and Lee found himself defend-
ing a 2-on-1 fastbreak. But Indiana
junior Devan Dumes exposed the
ball for a quick second, allowing
Lee to poke it away, and the ball
ended up in Grady's hands.
"I just tried to make a play," Lee
said. "I was actuallytryingto set up
for a charge."
The next time down the floor,
Lucas-Perry's 3-point attempt hit
the front of the rim, bounced up
and swished through the net to tie
the game.
The basket capped a 15-6 Michi-
gan run over the game's last eight
Indiana failed to score at the end
of regulation, sending the game to
Lee's play was the difference-
maker at the end, but Beilein said
he felt the momentum began to

Sophomore Manny Harris was linited to just 17 points on 4-of-12 shooting on the night, but he made clutch free throws down the stretch to seal a 72-66 Michigan win.

shift earlier in the half. Down
48-35 with less than 13 minutes
remaining, freshmen Zack Novak
and Stu Douglass hit back-to-back
3-pointers. For the first time all
game, Michigan looked like it had
a chance to win. But Indiana came
right back and the Wolverines went
scoreless for more than three min-

Michigan played the worst it had
all year on both ends of the court
against Indiana (0-2, 5-9), which
ranks last in the Big Ten in more
than half of the major statistical
"We played a terrible first half,"
Lee said. "We'll have to look at that

tape and see what we did wrong."
Before halftime, the Wolverines
shot a measly 25 percent from the
field and were just 3-for-18 from
behind the arc. Harris even sent
a scoop-layup attempt over the
backboard. And on the defensive,
end, Michigan didn't close out on
Indiana's shooters well and gave up

numerous easy layups.
But in the end, the scrappy come-
back win kept Michigan's NCAA
Tournament hopes alive.
"We didn't quit ... I thought that
was a big point for us," Beilein said.
"And maybe at the end of the sea-
son, we'll lookback at that as a pret-
ty important part of the season."

in first
A starter last year,
sophomore makes
most of return in
comeback win
Daily Sports Editor
Grady had been patient.
The sophomore point guard,
who started 25 games as a fresh-
man, came off
the bench in all NOTEBOOK
14 of the Michi-
gan men's basketball team's games
this season.
But then an opportunity pre-
sented itself. In last night's 72-66
overtime win at Indiana, Grady
got the start over fifth-year senior
point guard David Merritt.
"Sometimes (Michigan) coach
(John Beilein) has different ideas
in his head," Grady said. "I'd love
to start, but I wanted to win....
It felt good. I wanted to lead the
team for him."
Merritt couldn't practice yes-
terday because of an intestinal
virus and saw limited action last
Beilein has said he likes the
spark Grady provides off the
bench. The Grand Rapids native
is fifth on the team this season in
minutes per game.
In 35 minutes last night, Grady
contrplled the floor, especially on
the fast break. He connected on
two 3-pointers and led Michigan
with four assists.
A quiet six points won't impress
anyone who looks at the box score,
but Grady's game is about more
than just a stat line.
wA talkative person, Grady is
known among teammates as a
vocal leader - somethingthe Wol-
verines relied on last night during
their 20-point comeback.

Join the Daily's online staff.
E-mail graca@michigandaily.com for
more information.

Indiana coach Tom Crean was visibly frustrated as his team let a17-point halftime lead slip after the break. Although Michi-
gan hadn't held a lead since the first few minutes of the game, it clinched an overtime win in the come-from-behind effort.

"At halftime, we're down 17
and he just wouldn't stop talking,
telling us to believe," said sopho-
more forward Manny Harris,
who had 17 points. "Some people
lead vocally, some people lead
by example. He did both of them
With. 4:58 to play in regula-
tion, Grady reentered the game
and stayed on the court until
just before the overtime buzzer
sounded. With Beilein yelling
instructions from the bench,
Grady called at least three plays
on the floor.
"He did them beautifully," Bei-
lein said.
Sometimes criticized for his
inconsistencies and occasional
streakiness, Grady has improved
his assist-to-turnover ratio in
recent weeks.
But with just over 12 seconds
left in overtime, his old on-the-
court demons seemed to be
Grady brought the ball up the
floor and stepped on the line adja-
cent to the Michigan bench, turn-
ing the ball over to Indiana.
"I definitely smiled about it,"

Grady said with a laugh. "But I
thought in the back of my head,
when we go back and watch
film, Coach Beilein probably will
rewind ita couple times and make
fun of me a little bit."
FIRST-TIMERS: Last night's
game marked the first in Bloom-
ington for Beilein and all but two
Wolverine players. Beilein has 498
Division-I victories but coached
his first game at Assembly Hall
last night.
"It was one place I hadn't played
at in the Big Ten, so I was anxious
to see what it looked like," fifth-
year senior C.J. Lee said. "We
came to our shootaround today,
and it's a great atmosphere.
'It's a place you see on TV all
the time."
Junior forward DeShawn Sims
had previously played on the
court once and senior forward
Jevohn Shepherd had twice. In
those games, they combined for
seven total points.
Assembly Hall is one of the most
storied college basketball arenas
and one of the hardest places for
opposing teams to play.
Michigan is 12-60 all-time in

Sophomore forward Manny Har-
ris is averaging 32.8 minutes
per game. But when he takes a
breather, it's Lee who comes on
the court.
Like Grady, Lee's vocal lead-
ership is a big reason for Michi-
gan's turnaround this season. As
a fifth-year senior and co-captain,
he provides motivation on and off
the bench.
But last night, his minutes were
more valuable than usual. He hit
two 3-pointers late in the second
half to cut Michigan's deficit to
single digits.
"Huge play by him," Beilein
said of Lee. "He's really been a
captain for so long.... His defense
is something that we need."
ONE AND DONE: With the Big
Ten's expanded 18-game schedule,
last night's game marked the only
regular-season matchup between
Michigan wand Indiana.
Unlike in football, there are
no protected rivalries in the Big
Ten. The Wolverines will also
face Michigan State just once this

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