Creighton gave Michigan all they could handle and then some, but Michigan prevailed in overtime. There were times when Michigan looked like a top 15 team and there were times when they looked lost. But at the end of the day this was an extremely gutty victory over a very tough Creighton team.
Manny Harris was far from his best. He couldn’t find his range from three, missed numerous bunnies inside, turned the ball over four times, and missed five free throws. But the light finally came on. Harris made just enough plays to help Michigan limp into overtime before taking over in extra time. Harris scored 7 of Michigan’s 14 overtime points and assisted two baskets which led to five more points.
While the game wasn’t pretty, this was a perfect game for Michigan. They obviously got the victory but they certainly had to work for it. Creighton punched Michigan in the mouth time and time again and Michigan managed to find an answer. There were plenty of big plays that stood out: Manny Harris dunking in overtime over a helpless Justin Carter, Stu Douglass nailing a 30 foot three pointer, Manny Harris coming down with an offensive rebound between 3 Blue Jays, and Laval Lucas-Perry catching fire in the second half.
The four factors do a great job of telling the story in this one. Creighton outshot Michigan, 56.1% eFG% to 50.7%. But Michigan won the turnover battle and got to the line. Creighton turned the ball over on nearly a quarter of their possessions while Michigan turned it over on only 15% of theirs. Michigan’s free throw rate (FTA/FGA) was more than triple the Jays however they couldn’t quite make them pay shooting a dreadful 13 of 23 from the line.
It’s a quick turnaround for Michigan, who will play Marquette at noon tomorrow. I should have some sort of short preview up after the match-up is set. Michigan only played 6 players for more than 7 minutes and they certainly run the risk of running out of gas this weekend. It’s clear that Beilein is much more comfortable playing his top 6 and is hesitant to dip below that group.
- Manny Harris: In a game where he struggled for probably 35 minutes, Harris still nearly posted a triple double with 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 11 assists. Manny couldn’t buy a basket for a while and looked frustrated but he has the ability to take over games and he showed it today.
- DeShawn Sims: Peedi played well with 16 points (8-17 shooting) and 11 rebounds in 38 minutes. His three point shot wasn’t falling (0-3) and he missed a few bunnies but he scored the ball well on the block. The problem for Peedi is that he doesn’t look like he is quite in game shape, looking gassed for long stretches and still shaking off a bit of mental rust.
- Laval Lucas-Perry: Laval has been searching for his offensive game all year but he caught fire in the second half and unleashed a barrage of three point shots. 18 points on 5 of 11 (4-6 3pt) shooting is a very solid day from Laval, especially considering 14 of them came in the second half. I think he has the worst handle of the three “point guards” but when he’s hot he’s hot.
- Stu Douglass: His three point shot to tie the game was one of those “no, no, no, no, YES” moments. It had to be about 28 to 30 feet deep but it was all net. Stu couldn’t find his shot for most of the game, but he bailed himself out with that shot.
- Zack Novak: 14 points (5-7 shooting), 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists, 1 block in 38 minutes. Novak had a great first half before disappearing for much of the second half. In the first half he was active in the 1-3-1 zone and had a very nice backdoor reverse layup.
- Darius Morris: I love Darius’ length on defense especially in the 1-3-1 but it was clear that Beilein wanted to go with the sophomore guards down the stretch.
- Zack Gibson: I expect we will see healthy doses of Gibson this weekend just because of Peedi running out of steam but he managed 2 points and 3 rebounds in 7 minutes.
- Anthony Wright: A productive couple shifts for Anthony today, he hit a three and punched in a nice layup to go along with two boards and an assist on a perfect backdoor bounce pass.
- Matt Vogrich: Got one shift in the first half but looked rattled against Creighton’s pressure defense.