ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan used a 19-1 second half run to dissolve a 37-25 Harvard lead as the Wolverines held on for a 65-62 win over the Crimson Saturday afternoon at Crisler Arena.
Harvard (5-2) set the pace from the outset and started the second half with five-straight points behind Keith Wright and a nifty floating layup from Brandyn Curry for a 37-25 lead. Michigan (5-2) got a much needed off-balance 3-pointer from Stu Douglass and followed with a steal and dunk from Darius Morris to spark a 7-0 run as the home crowd came back to life heading into the first media timeout. The run continued as UM took its first lead since early in the game, 41-38, on a long Douglas triple with 13:27 to play. Douglas made another 3-pointer on the next possession for a 44-38 lead before Laurent Rivard ended the 19-1 run with a triple of his own.
Harvard settled down and reclaimed the lead at 46-44 before Morris connected on a fade-away before the under-eight media timeout to re-tie the game. Jordan Morgan then converted a third-chance basket for a UM lead and Zack Novak hit a triple for a 51-46 advantage as the Crimson began to wear down with foul trouble plaguing Curry and illness keeping Kyle Casey on the bench.
Harvard cut it to 51-50 but UM made another run with Zack Novak completing a tough basket for a 56-50 lead with just 3:27 left. Harvard kept the pressure on but Michigan had time on its side as it managed to hang on thanks to Novak and Douglass.
Novak finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds while Douglass led all scorers with 19 points (7-10 FG, 5-7 3PT).
Wright led Harvard with an impressive showing as the junior big man notched 18 points (8-16 FG) and 12 rebounds. Rivard used a 5-of-9 stroke from deep for 15 points to go with five rebounds while Christian Webster also had 15.
Harvard returns to action on Tuesday at home against WPI at 7 p.m. Michigan plays its second of eight-straight at home against Concordia on Monday evening.
In the first half, the teams traded 7-0 runs as they went into the under-eight timeout tied at 17 apiece. Coming out of the timeout, Webster knocked down a triple and Wright used a nifty baseline spin move to extend Harvard's run to 12-0 and a 22-17 lead to prompt a UM timeout with 5:07 left.
Douglass hit a triple out of the timeout but the Crimson scored the next five to make it 27-20 as Rivard connected from deep and Wright hit from inside again to force another UM timeout at the 1:59 mark. The teams traded baskets down the stretch with Morris able to connect on a pump fake jumper in the lane as time expired in the half.