The Wolverine

January 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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14 THE WOLVERINE JANUARY 2021   INSIDE MICHIGAN ATHLETICS FIVE YEARS AGO, 2016: John Beilein's Wolverines posted a strong 70-67 win over No. 3 Maryland at Crisler Center Jan. 12, holding on after building a 13-point second-half lead. Zak Irvin led the way for the Wolverines, scoring 22 points. Duncan Robinson fired in 17, while Derrick Wal- ton scored 12, led U-M in rebounds with 10 and tossed off four assists in the win. The game stayed close early on, but Michigan broke it open with a 13-4 run to take a 37-29 halftime lead. That edge grew to double digits in the second half, before a furious Maryland rally brought the Terrapins back at the end. Michigan's defense played a major role in the victory. Not only did U-M's active perimeter defense handcuff the Terps to 25 percent shooting from three-point range (6 of 24), it held Maryland's leading scorer, Melo Trim- ble, to a mere two points. Maryland's Jake Layman noted: "I think we gave them confidence in the first half. We let them get too many open threes. In the second half, I think we played a little better on defense, contested a lot more shots. But they hit some tough shots." 10 YEARS AGO, 2011: Michigan put four players in double figures to take down Penn State at Crisler Center, 76-69, on Jan. 2. Guard Darius Morris paced the Wolver- ines, firing in 20 points and dishing out 10 assists. Zack Novak added 15 points, Evan Smotrycz 11 and Jordan Morgan 10. They needed to offset Penn State's Talor Battle, who led all scorers with 31 points, nearly half of them on five three-pointers. The Wolverines proved red hot in answering, pour- ing in 57.4 percent from the field — 60.9 percent in the second half — and going 14 for 14 at the free throw line. They needed the second-half surge, after trailing 36-31 at intermission. Smotrycz began the second half with a three-pointer, and U-M took its first lead of the game on a Novak trey at the 13:39 mark. The Wolverines held the Nittany Lions off to the end, making eight free throws in the final 53 seconds. "We played soft," Battle said following the loss. "We lacked toughness." 25 YEARS AGO, 1996: Steve Fisher 's Wolverines won big at the Breslin Center Jan. 13, running over Mich- igan State on the road, 76-54. The Wolverines jumped out to a 12-2 lead and never trailed the Spartans. Michigan State's student section stayed quiet through- out, the Wolverines never giving them a chance to get going. U-M flexed its muscles on the boards, pulling down 42 rebounds to MSU's 30. U-M freshman Louis Bullock commented: "I think the big key was that we took everything away from them. They wanted to get the crowd involved. We took that away from them. They wanted to get offensive re- bounds. We took that away from them." Sophomore Willie Mitchell, back from a serious knee injury, scored 13 points, hitting 3 of 4 three-pointers. He scored eight of Michigan's first 23, giving the Wolverines a 14-point lead on a jumper with 7:32 left in the opening half. "I didn't think we'd dominate as much as we did," noted freshman big man Robert Traylor. "That was a result of our work ethic." — John Borton THIS MONTH IN MICHIGAN ATHLETICS HISTORY Junior Zak Irvin tied for the game high with 22 points while helping lead the Wolverines past No. 3 Maryland Jan. 12, 2016. It was only the second loss of the season in 17 games for the Terrapins. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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