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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Central Michigan stops Michigan 78-67

Michigan guard Kelvin Grady (44) passes the ball over Central Michigan guard Giordan Watson, who scored 22 points to lead the Chippewas to a 78-67 win over the Wolverines on Saturday at Crisler Arena.

Central Michigan forward Marcus Van (40) and guard Reynold Walters (4) double-teams Michigan guard Manny Harris. From the start, there was no mistaking Central Michigan's defensive intentions. The Chippewas' tenacious, in-your-face style forced 23 turnovers and took Michigan's young, struggling offense out of rhythm.
Aggressive defense "is what we do," Central Michigan coach Ernie Zeigler said. "Have we been doing it all nine games? No. But that is definitely a staple of what I was trying to establish when I got this job."

Harris (3) dunks the ball with 3:45 remaining in the first half, ending a nearly eight minute stretch of the first half when Michigan failed to score. Central Michigan finished the half on a 15-9 run, laying the foundation for a strong second half when the Chippewas continued to dictate the game's tempo.

Michigan forward Ekpe Udoh (22) defends Giordan Watson, bottom. The win was Central Michigan's first over Michigan since 2002. Central Michigan (4-5) led by double figures for most of the second half, led by an offense that included three scorers in double figures.

Central Michigan guard Jeremy Allen, front left, and Harris, front right, watch the ball fall out of bounds. Allen and Nate Minnoy both contributed 11 points for CMU. Harris scored 12 for the Wolverines.

Watson (11) battles Michigan guard Kelvin Grady (44), who scored 11 points to go along with DeShawn Sims' team-high 17. Grady brought Michigan (4-7) to within 69-61 with 2:58 remaining before the Chippewas hit eight of nine free throws.

First-year coach John Beilein, right, argues a call with a referee in the second half. Central Michigan's defense kept Michigan from ever establishing itself from the perimeter, from where the Wolverines attempted only eight 3-pointers - usually a staple of Beilein's offense."They just took all those types of looks away from us - they did a great job defensively," Beilein said. "We realized it was going to be a hard, pressured defense, but we have to keep working on making pretty simple plays."

Sims (34) defends Allen. Despite its turnover troubles, Michigan got within 44-42 after Sims hit a 3-pointer with 13:52 remaining. But the Chippewas scored 12 of the next 13, finishing the game by hitting 51.7 percent of their shots.

Michigan forward Ron Coleman (24) defends against Watson (11).

Watson (11) is congratulated by teammates. "It's just all about us battling and us being tough and taking pride in doing the little things," Zeigler said.
(AP Photos by Tony Ding)


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