LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Late in the second half of Michigan’s first-round game of the Old Spice Classic against Creighton, sophomore Stu Douglass hit a 3-pointer to finally tie the game at 65. Creighton had been scoring at will and Michigan was having too hard of a time getting to the basket.

And Manny Harris had had enough.

Sometime in between senior DeShawn Sims’ missed 3-pointer and Harris grabbing an offensive rebound among three Creighton big men and getting the put-back and the foul, Harris decided to take over the game.

And when Harris decides to step up, it’s hard to stop him. The switch flipped in the waning minutes of regulation, and Harris led the Wolverines to an 83-76 overtime win over Creighton on Thanksgiving Day.

Early in the game, Michigan’s “first test” of its season didn’t look like it would be a very hard one. The Wolverines jumped out to an early 11-point lead, thanks mostly to smothering 1-3-1 zone defense.

“Early, it worked very well,” Michigan coach John Beilein said after the game.

Unfortunately for Michigan, there were also middle and late portions of the game. The Jays figured out the Wolverines’ zone and finished the first half with a flurry of points, going on a 7-0 run and hitting a huge 3-pointer as time expired. Halftime hit with Michigan leading, 37-34.

At that point, Harris had seven points.

“That was kind of our first challenge,” Harris said. “That’s all that was.”

And the battle wasn’t over. In the second half, Creighton hounded the Michigan guards on defense and seemed to get an inordinate amount of layups in the paint. Eventually, the Jays jumped out to a six-point lead with eight minutes to go in the game.

The Wolverines clawed their way back to keep it close, and Stu Douglass made a deep 3-pointer to tie the game. And Harris made his big decision.

After getting the put-back and the foul, Harris took it to the hoop to get another foul, making both free throws to put Michigan up two with five seconds left. After Creighton went cross-court to finish a game-tying layup, the game headed into overtime.

In overtime, Harris dished an assist to Sims for a layup. Then, a layup of his own in the paint. After that, a monsterous baseline dunk and an assist on a Zack Novak 3-pointer. All in all, Harris had a hand in 10 of Michigan’s 14 points in overtime.

The end result was a near-triple-double stat line (20 points, 11 assists, nine rebounds) for Harris and a Michigan victory.

“I tried to get other people involved, do anything to win,” Harris said. “Coach had confidence in me to keep me out there although my shot wasn’t falling, so I knew I had to do something else for the team.”

While Harris dominated when Michigan absolutely needed him to, he was held relatively ineffective for most of the game, forcing others to step up. Balanced scoring couldn’t have been more obvious — four players scored more than 14 points. Redshirt sophomore Laval Lucas-Perry at one point hit three triples in a row and scored 18. Sims had 16 points and 11 rebounds. Novak put up 14 points.

“I think that was a big game for us to come out, against a team like Creighton,” Novak said. “To be able to get a victory early against a team like that, I think it’s going to help us.”

The Wolverines will play Marquette tomorrow at noon. The Golden Eagles beat Xavier in their first round matchup.

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