Michigan got off to a good start in this game, which was critical to take advantage of the sold out crowd at Crisler Areana. DeShawn Sims scored Michigan’s first 4 points and he only got better as the game went on.
Jevohn Shepherd, who got the start in place of Anthony Wright, made a big contribution in the first half. He scored on a drive and spin move. Then minutes later hit DeShawn Sims on a great back door cut to give Michigan a 32-30 lead at the half.
Zack Novak continues to impress. He knocked down two three balls in the first half and drew a charge on Kyle Singler.
In the first half there were 8 ties and 7 lead changes.
Michigan opened the second half with Stu Douglass scoring his only points on a goal tending call. It didn’t take long for Peedi Sims to get it going again. He nailed a clutch 3 to put Michigan up 37-34.
There was a stretch right around the 15:00 mark of the second half that Michigan got a little sloppy and was playing a little out of synch. During that time Duke went on a 7-0 run and took a 44-40 lead. Michigan coach John Beilein called a time out. Whatever Coach Beilein said during the time out helped get the team back on track. Michigan quickly tied the game up at 44 after Zack Novak picked up a steal and threw a long outlet pass to Manny Harris for a lay up. DeShawn Sims put Michigan back in front 46-44 with a nice jump shot. After Sims’ jumper, Kelvin Grady drove for a lay up. Then Grady hit Zack Gibson on the break and Gibson converted with a nice lay up.
With Michigan trailing 53-50 and about 9 minutes left in the game Zack Novak hit a big time 3 to tie the game. After a Michigan stop on defense Novak came down and hit another 3 to give Michigan a 56-53 lead.
Down the stretch Kelvin Grady did a great job running the team and knowing when to push the tempo. Michigan executed a number of clutch plays in the final minutes to secure the win.
With Michigan leading 64-59 Sims found Manny Harris on a back door cut for a lay up and 66-59 lead.
After a defensive stop Sims hit two clutch free throws to put Michigan up 68-59.
Duke followed that up with a 3 ball from Gerald Henderson to cut the lead to 68-62 with just under 3 minutes left in the game.
Zack Novak was then fouled on a drive to the hoop and the freshmen hit two huge free throws to put Michigan up 70-62 with 2:22 left in the game.
After a Nolan Smith 3 cut the lead to 70-65 Manny Harris drove and dunked to to put Michigan up 72-65 with 1:30 left in the game.
Duke made a couple three pointers to try and tried to get back in the game by fouling Michigan. However, Michigan was up to the task at the free throw line. During that stretch Kelvin Grady was 5-6 from the line, CJ Lee was 2-2 at the line, and DeShawn Sims was 2-2 at the line. And that was it. Michigan beat Duke for the first time since 12/13/1997. This is the second time Michigan has knocked off the number 4 team in the country.
The player of the game was DeShawn Sims who scored 28 points on 10-16 shooting, including 2-3 on 3 pointers. Sims also grabbed 12 rebounds and handed out to assists.
Manny Harris chipped in 17 points on 8-14 shooting to go along with 5 rebounds.
Zack Novak scored 14 points and was 4-7 from long range. Novak also had 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Kelvin Grady played a great game, especially down the stretch as he was the floor general. Grady finished with 9 points, 4 assists, and 0 turnovers. The numbers don’t tell the complete story about how well he played.
At the conclusion of the game the crowd rushed the court and helped the team celebrate a sensational win.
Inside the numbers: Michigan out rebounded Duke 36-30. Michigan was 7-16 on three pointers and Duke was a miserable 7-33. Michigan went 18-21 at the charity stripe.
Michigan only turned the ball over 11 times.
Notable: The loss is just Duke’s third in 48 games in the month of December since 1999-2000. The loss also snaps Duke’s six-game win streak vs. Big Ten opponents.
Michigan improved to 6-2; Last season, the Wolverines did not win their sixth game until Feb. 9.
Quotes: Jay Bilas said this about Manny Harris; “I’m not sure there is a defender in the country that can hold him under 25 points. He is an elite scorer.” Bilas later described Manny as a natural born scorer and a pure slasher.
The road to 21 wins: This was a game nobody expected to Michigan to win and I did not count it in my 21 win tally. They have now won 2 of the games that were not counted in my 21 win projection and they have yet to lose a game that I had them projected to win.