Michigan played this game without Coach John Beilein who was out sick. This was also the first game they had played since the Duke win a week ago. Considering those two factors I guess it is not that surprising that Michigan came out a little flat and/or out of synch. Eastern Michigan controlled the game for the first 16 minutes of the half and enjoyed leads of 18-11, 19-13, and 26-19.
During that 16 minute span Jevohn Shepherd kept Michigan in the game by scoring 9 points. Kelvin Grady chipped in 3 three pointers as well to keep Michigan close.
Michigan took a 32-30 lead after two DeShawn Sims free throws with a little over three minutes left in the half. Michigan would not trail again in the game.
Following the free throws David Merritt hit a 3 ball. Jevohn Shepherd scored on back to back possessions. David Merritt ended the half by hitting a 3 at the buzzer and Michigan had a 44-34 lead at the break.
Manny Harris had 2 points and 2 fouls in 5 minutes of play in the half. Jevohn Shepherd had 13 points and Kelvin Grady 11 points to pace Michigan in the first half. The Wolverines started the half hitting just one of 7 from downtown. However, they ended the half by hitting 7 of 10 from three point land.
I noticed acting head coach Jerry Dunn started Zack Novak in the second half over Stu Douglass. DeShawn Sims scored the first 4 points of the second half for Michigan. With about 17 minutes remaining in the game Manny Harris was 1-6 from the field for 2 points. Then Manny went on a rampage of three point plays. If he was not knocking down a triple he was converting three point plays at the line. The Manny rampage came quick and hit Eastern hard. He started it by hitting 3 consecutive three pointers. Then on a feed from Zack Novak he scored and completed the 3 point play at the line. Just like that Manny had ripped off 12 points.
Following the Manny rampage Sims and Douglass knocked down three point shots and in between that Manny added another 3 point play on drive, score, and foul. Manny continued his rampage by grabbing rebounds and swiping the ball from Eastern and Michigan poured it on down the stretch. Eric Puls even got into the mix by knocking down a good looking 3 pointer and Michigan won 91-60 and improved to 7-2 on the season.
Manny Harris finished with 22 points on 8-16 from the field including 4-7 from deep to go along with 7 boards, 5 assists, and 2 steals. DeShawn Sims scored 18 points grabbed 5 rebounds and picked up 2 steals. Kelvin Grady continues to run this team very efficiently. In 23 minutes Grady scored 11 points on 4-5 shooting (3-4 on 3 pointers). Grady had 3 assists and 0 turnovers. This is the second straight game that Grady has not turned the ball over.
Inside the numbers: Michigan only had 5 turnovers in the game compared to 17 for Eastern. Eastern out rebounded Michigan 42-27 including 14 offensive rebounds. Michigan had 24 assists on 35 field goals and was 16-33 from three point range. The 16 three pointers set a school record for one game.
The road to 21 wins: This was a game Michigan had to win and they did so in convincing fashion. Now they have a week to get ready for Oakland. Laval Lucas-Perry will make his highly anticipated Michigan debut against Oakland.