It was everything you’d expect from an early-season game
against an unfamiliar opponent. Michigan had its flares of
brilliance, but they normally came after lulls of sloppy play.
Michigan dropped in 29 points in the final six minutes of its
67-54 victory over Wayne State, the Wolverines’ second and
final exhibition of the season.
But Michigan wouldn’t have needed all those late points if
it had kept Wayne State at bay. The Warriors — after being
down by double figures early in the game — actually
threatened the Wolverines in the second half. A 14-3 run by Wayne
State closed the gap to 49-43 with 5:32 remaining.
“We didn’t look very comfortable at times,”
Amaker said. “I thought that was one of the disappointing
factors for us. But you have to give (Wayne State) credit for
making us look uncomfortable.”
Michigan caught fire at just the right moment, extinguishing any
thought of a miraculous comeback by its Division II opponents.
After a three-pointer by Wayne State’s Cortney Jennings,
Michigan sophomore Dion Harris responded with a triple of his own.
On the following possession, a block by sophomore Brent Petway led
to an uncontested fast-break layup for junior wing Lester
Petway polished things off on Michigan’s next fast break,
finishing an alley-oop from guard Daniel Horton.
Petway’s dunks — he had three on the night —
were not the only monstrous aspects of his game. The forward
finished with a double-double, scoring 11 points and pulling down a
game-high 15 rebounds.
“When you watch (Petway) play, it’s obvious that he
has a passion for playing.” Amaker said. “He enjoys
himself out there and that becomes contagious. Having him on the
floor, especially tonight, was something that was sorely
Petway’s contributions couldn’t have come at a
better time. Junior forward Chris Hunter did not dress because of a
sore knee, and sophomore Courtney Sims had a relatively slow night
with just seven points and four rebounds.
“If one guy is kind of down, you have to have somebody
else come in and pick you up, or the team is going to all fall off
altogether,” Petway said. “I just like being able to
come in and energize the team in one way or another.”
Horton led all scorers in the game with an extremely efficient
17 points. He shot 4-for-7 from the field, including 3-for-4 from
three-point range and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line.
Despite early foul trouble, he also logged six assists.
“I think every player goes through that maturation
process, and I think I went through that last year,” Horton
said. “Hopefully I can come out and show that I have improved
as a player this year.”
When both Horton and Abram did encounter foul trouble, Harris
picked up the slack. Though he shot just 5-for-14 from the field,
Harris played 39 minutes and recorded 14 points, five rebounds and
four assists in the process.
“I don’t think I’m settling for all threes and
wandering around the perimeter,” Harris said.
“I’m cutting hard, I’m getting the ball and
I’m trying to create inside the lane, as well as outside for
The Wolverines begin regular season play on Monday in the
Preseason NIT against Binghamton. If they advance, they would await
the winner of the game between Colorado and College of Charleston
on Wednesday in Boulder, Colo.