Michigan’s Courtney Sims has been waiting all season for
his chance to bust loose — just ask his mom.

Julie Pannuto
Freshmen Brent Petway and Courtney Sims created an inside presence for the Wolverines last night. (DORY GANNES/Daily)

“I talked to my mother about it,” Sims said.
“She said that if I have one breakout game, it will help me
throughout the whole (rest of) the season.”

Last night’s 90-84 win over Iowa may have been that game
for Sims, as the freshman scored a career-high 16 points in 24
minutes of action.

Sims got off to a quick start, scoring the game’s first
five points.

“We tried to establish an inside-outside game,”
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said. “Courtney producing in the
post helped open up our perimeter shooting, and we were able to
knock those (shots) down.”

After making a few buckets, Sims’ confidence and
aggression rose. He looked to get to the basket on almost every
touch in the post.

Later in the half, the 6-foot-11 center caught the ball on the
block, turned and took it aggressively at an Iowa defender. Sims
dropped the ball in the bucket to raise his point total to 11, and
narrowly escaped a charging call in the process.

“I didn’t even know he was there,” Sims said.
“I was just trying to draw contact once I saw him.”

In the second half, Iowa’s defense sagged into the lane to
try and prevent Michigan from being able to make an entry pass.

“I was getting a little frustrated that I wasn’t
getting the ball,” Sims said. “But my team was making
shots — Daniel hit a big three at the beginning of the second
half — so I wasn’t really mad. I just want to
win.”

Sims was limited by Iowa’s defense early in the second
frame, but the freshman re-entered the game with 10:23 remaining
and continued his offensive onslaught. Sims hit two free throws and
his first-career 3-pointer to reach his career-high total.

With 10 games left in the Big Ten season, Sims hopes that his
mom’s prediction proves true.

Energized: For the second straight game, freshman Brent Petway
came in off the bench and made his presence known.

Petway had five points — none coming on dunks. He also
added three blocks and took a charge to energize Michigan.

“I know what my role is, and my role is to defend and
rebound,” Petway said. “I have the jumping ability that
if I box out, I can jump up over anybody and get the
ball.”

After playing just three minutes in the first half, Petway
played 10 minutes in the second and led the team in rebounding with
seven.

“He always brings a spark off the bench,” guard
Daniel Horton said. “He always has a lot of
energy.”

Breaking the drought: After jumping out on Iowa in the first
half to a 31-20 lead, Michigan suffered a six-and-a-half-minute
scoreless drought in the first half — just as it had during
early Big Ten games against Wisconsin and Michigan State.

Michigan allowed Iowa to run off 15 unanswered points in the
first half and trailed 35-31 with four minutes left in the
frame.

But unlike their games against the Spartans and Badgers, the
Wolverines battled back after going on their scoreless streak.

Lester Abram knocked down a triple for Michigan with 2:28 left
in the half, scored a layup and was fouled on the Wolverines’
next trip down the floor.

The Wolverines outscored the Hawkeyes 13-2 to end the half and
go in the lockerroom leading 44-37.

“Certainly it was a game of runs,” Michigan coach
Tommy Amaker said. “We told our guys at halftime whichever
team (was) going to stretch a run out was going to win.”

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