EVANSTON A nine-point first half deficit at Northwestern was by no means an anomaly for Michigan. The Wolverines have played sluggishly in many first halves on the road this season.

But in the past, slow starts usually produced blowouts.

Saturday, Michigan broke the trend and assembled its first come-from-behind victory.

The post-game press conference showed that Northwestern coach Bill Carmody thought 11 3-pointers would be enough for his team to complete the upset.

Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe said his team played an intelligent second half. In the past, he has said that unforced mistakes have been the Wolverines” downfall.

“We didn”t turn the ball over very much in the second half,” Ellerbe said.

Specifically, Michigan”s freshman point guards Avery Queen and Maurice Searight didn”t turn the ball over once in the second half. At the same time, the freshman duo combined for nine assists.

With the team following suit, Michigan compiled an impressive 1.5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio a tell-tale stat that Ellerbe points to when analyzing this squad”s efforts.

Down but not out: Both Michigan junior Chris Young and sophomore LaVell Blanchard exited the lockerroom last Saturday night with a bag of ice taped to his ankle. Both players suffered light sprains in the Wolverines” win against Northwestern.

But the two starters do expect to be ready to play against Michigan State tomorrow.

“Are you kidding?” Blanchard said when asked about his status for the game. “This is the big one.”

Crawford in touch: Former Michigan player Jamal Crawford stopped by Welsh-Ryan Arena to catch the second half of Michigan”s win.

Crawford spent just one, suspension-ridden season with Michigan before leaving for the NBA draft. He was drafted eighth by Cleveland, and then traded to the Chicago Bulls.

“It was great to see everyone,” Crawford said. “I was nervous like I was in the (Michigan) game.”

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