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February 10, 2011 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-02-10

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8A -- husday, February 10, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.c©m ahI

8A -Thusda, Fbruay 1, 211 he Mchian ail - mchiandilyomt

i

'M' beats Wildcats, picks up fifth conference win

By CHANTEL JENNINGS
Daily Sports Editor
Junior guard Stu Douglass
made his first start of the season
in the Michigan men's basketball
team's 75-66 win over Northwest-
ern last night at Crisler Arena.
Part of the reason Douglass
started was to help the Wolver-
ines (5-7 Big
Ten, 15-10 NU 66
overall) MICHIGAN 75
get off to a
faster start, but part of Beilein's
decision to start Douglass over
freshman Evan Smotrycz was
a defensive move - an effort to
slow the production of North-
western's hot hand, junior John
Shurna, who exploited Smotrycz
and the Michigan defense the
first time these two teams face
off, scoring 22 first-half points.
But Shurna didn't start on
Wednesday. And it was North-
western coach Bill Carmody who
should've made a defensive move
for his team in order to slow down
redshirt freshman Jordan Mor-
gan, who manhandled the Wild-
cat defense last night for his best
game of the season.
He matched his Big Ten season
high of 17 points in the first half
alone, and continued his scoring

campaign in the second stanza,
finishingwith 27 points.
Fueled by Morgan's monster
first half, the Wolverines went
into halftime leading 34-19. But
even with the 15-point cushion,
junior captain Zack Novak felt
his team was too loose heading
into the second half. Last year's
matchup with Northwestern -
when the Wildcats overcame a
17-point halftime deficit to beat
Michigan in Ann Arbor - seemed
all too close in his memory.
"I just told everybody we need
to come out and take their heads
off right off the bat," Novak said
Wednesday. "The way North-
western plays, they can get back
in games quick. They can get out
of games quick and they can get
back in games quick, so it defi-
nitely wasn't over."
Just as Novak predicted,
Northwestern (4-8, 14-9) came
out strong in the second half.
Senior Michael Thompson scored
the first seven points of the peri-
od, which pulled the Wildcats
within eight. But it was in the
final five minutes of the game
when the Wolverines became the
most vulnerable.
On the coattails of fourstraight
3-point scoring possessions, the
Wildcats clawed their way back

See a multimedia piece about
k this storyon MichiganDaily.tom
to within one point of Michigan.
"You can't lie" Douglass said.
"There (were) thoughts that the
whole success we've had for 38
minutes (was) just going to be
gone, but we kept fighting."
Because of Morgan's produc-
tion in the post, the Wolverines
had to rely less on their outside
shooting and attempted a season-
low 15 3-pointers. And their 21
shots from the charity stripe is
the team's best in conference play.
Beyond Morgan's impressive
performance, freshman guard
Tim Hardaway Jr. notched his
first-career double-double with
17 points and 10 rebounds. Sopho-
more point guard Darius Mor-
ris rounded out the double-digit
scoring with11.
With the victory over North-
western, Michigan has amassed
15 wins so far this season - the
same number of victories last
year's squad accumulated the
entire season. And with the Wol-
verines playing arguably their
best basketball of the year, it's
hard to look past the postsea-
son chatter. That's especially the
case when Michigan closes out

CHRIS RYBA/Daily
Freshman forward Tim Hardaway Jr. notched his first career double-double in the win over the Wildcats last night.
its games in such dominating into the final minute of the game flashy play in the final moments.
fashions - like a highlight-reel- and displayed a style and confi- "I'd prefer that (Morris) laid in
worthy alley oop from Morris to dence that's necessary of a team the backdoor layup that was set
Morgan in the waning minutes of contending to play in March. up that we worked so hard to
last night's game. "I don't want to be afraid to develop in the past.
The dunk extended the Wol- fail," Beilein said when asked "But I don't want them to be
verines' lead to seven heading if he was nervous about such a afraid of making plays."

NEED YOUR BASKETBALL FIX? newspaper
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