NEW YORK — There were few negatives for Michigan in its
78-53 trouncing of Oregon last night, but the Wolverines did
express concern over their inability to keep the Ducks off the
offensive glass — especially in the first half.

Using a rotation of four big, physical forwards, the Ducks
grabbed 12 offensive rebounds in the game, including nine in the
first half.

“I think in the first half we weren’t satisfied
(with the we way played inside),” Michigan center Chris
Hunter said. “I thought we came out in the second half and
did a better job. They were getting too many offensive rebounds in
the first half — they were just pushing us around.”

Michigan was able to counter Oregon’s inside game after
the break, as the Wolverines grabbed eight offensive rebounds in
the second half, giving them 13 for the game. The Wolverines’
big men — Hunter, sophomore Graham Brown and freshmen
Courtney Sims and Brent Petway — combined for 27 points and
14 boards.

“We were just trying to do whatever we could,” Brown
said. “They have a bunch of guys that they can rotate in and
out, and we were trying to play defense and keep them off the
glass.”

Learning to share: The Wolverines’ offense was at
its best in last night’s game, and much of that can be
attributed to the impressive assist-to-turnover ratio of 18-to-11
that Michigan posted.

On the contrary, Michigan’s aggressive defense forced
Oregon into 16 turnovers compared to just eight assists. Oregon
forward Luke Jackson, the recipient of much of Michigan’s
defensive attention, coughed the ball up six times on the
evening.

For Michigan, guard Daniel Horton played, without question, one
of his most complete games of the season. The sophomore
complemented his 15 points and six rebounds with a whopping nine
dimes, and just one turnover.

Whether he’d admit it or not, what made the stellar
evening even sweeter for Horton is the fact that his performance
came against Oregon coach Ernie Kent, who cut Horton from the U.S.
World Junior Championship team over the summer.

“He knows I can play,” Horton said. “The
conversation we had after he cut me wasn’t any ill feelings
toward each other — I just wasn’t the type of player
that fit well in his system. He knows I’m a good
player.”

Notes: While most of last night’s crowd of 12,630
was composed of Rutgers’ fans, the Michigan faithful also
made their voices heard, with somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000
Michigan fans in attendance … The fan favorites last night?
The Oregon cheerleaders, who were treated to several standing
ovations from the Garden crowd … Michigan’s win last
night makes the Wolverines 3-0 all-time against Oregon, with the
last win coming in 1971 … Michigan coach Tommy Amaker
finally responded to his fashion critics last night, ditching the
Michigan golf shirt he has worn all year in favor of the mock
turtleneck he sported in his first two years in Ann Arbor.

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