Correction appended: this article misreported the score of the Michigan men’s basketball team’s win over Brown University on Sunday. The final score was 72-57.

It wasn’t flashy, but the Michigan men’s basketball team got the job done yesterday afternoon with a 72-57 win over Brown.

The Wolverine offense started hot but cooled off in the opening frame largely because of the Bears 1-3-1 zone defense and full court press.

“This might be the third time that we’ve even seen it,” Michigan coach John Beilein said of the defensive set.

Michigan began the game with a 9-0 run and held a 12-2 lead after the first four-and-a-half minutes of play. That’s when Brown (1-1) switched to its zone and went on a run of its own, capped off by a Mark MacDonald 3-point shot to close the gap 15-10.

But the Wolverines (2-0) pulled away thanks to 3-pointers from freshman Manny Harris and sophomore DeShawn Sims on three consecutive possessions.

“It’s just a shot,” Sims said. “The more you shoot, the more comfortable you become when you shoot it even in a game atmosphere. I felt pretty comfortable today.”

Harris and Sims shot a combined 6-for-9 from beyond the arc, and the team as a whole shot 50 percent.

Despite better shooting, the Wolverines turned the ball over 14 times – six more than their first contest. Coupled with 18 assists, Michigan failed to stay at Beilein’s desired 2-to-1 ratio.

“They switched up their defense a lot,” senior Ron Coleman said. “You have to give them credit for pressing. We don’t really work on that a lot, and when they were pressing up on us like that, it slowed us down a little bit, but we just have to work on that and get better.”

Void of the excitement and anticipation clear at Beilein’s regular-season debut Friday against Radford, Michigan’s second game of the season had a few crowd-pleasing moments.

With fewer than 10 seconds left in the first half, Beilein called a play that seemed to be dead, but just before the final horn sounded, Harris found freshman Anthony Wright open deep on the left side and the Sterling, Va., native hit the trey to bring the crowd to its feet.

And early in the second half, freshman Kelvin Grady drove down the left side of the lane and wrapped a pass around two Brown defenders.

Sims, cutting from the right wing, took the pass in stride and threw it down for the dunk.

Harris and Grady continued their strong play in the backcourt. Harris led all scorers with 22 points, and Grady added 10 of his own.

The surprise of the afternoon was Wright. The 6-foot-6 forward had 10 points and eight rebounds. Nine of those points came from 3-point shots.

“Anthony just saw the rim a couple of times, and he shot it in,” Beilein said. “He really gave us a little bit of a lift.”

Michigan’s two wins during the weekend gives the team some momentum going into Thursday’s road contest against No. 5 Georgetown.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.