Bradley Hangs Tough with #19 Michigan

By Josh Simon

Bradley Hangs Tough with #19 Michigan

December 22, 2011 Updated Dec 23, 2011 at 4:07 PM CDT

Courtesy Bradley Sports Information:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Evan Smotrycz scored 14 of his game-high 20 points in the second half and added a game-high 10 rebounds, leading #19/20 Michigan (10-2) to its seventh straight home win, a 77-66 victory against Bradley (5-7) Thursday night at Crisler Arena.

Bradley senior forward Taylor Brown led five Braves in double-figures with 17 points. Walt Lemon, Jr. added 16 points, while Jordan Prosser, Shayok Shayok and Dyricus Simms-Edwards all added 10 points for the Braves.

Michigan also put five players in double-figures, getting 16 points from Tim Hardaway, Jr., 15 from Jordan Morgan, 12 from Trey Burke and 11 from Zack Novak.

Bradley's rebounding and Michigan's 3-point shooting were the story of the first half. Bradley held a 26-18 rebounding edge at the half, while the Wolverines buried seven 3-pointers in the opening period. But Brown's third 3-pointer of the half, a 28-footer at the buzzer, sent the teams into their locker rooms locked in a 33-33 tie.

The teams traded blows through the first six minutes of the second half before the Wolverines took a 48-45 lead on a Smotryzc corner 3-pointer with 14:13 left in the game. Smotryzc's fifth triple of the game with 10:34 left stretched the Wolverines advantage to 57-49.

The Braves managed to make the home crowd a non-factor until Tim Hardaway, Jr.'s fast break alley-oop slam with 8:34 left got the faithful out of their seats and another Hardaway transition basket with 8:16 left gave Michigan a double-digit lead, 65-54, for the first time. Three more layups from Novak, Burke and Smotrycz capped a 26-11 Wolverines surge for a 71-56 advantage with 6:20 remaining.

By that point in the game, Michigan had more than reversed the first-half rebounding numbers, using a 15-3 advantage in the first 13 minutes of the second period to take a 33-31 edge on the glass. Michigan's control of the glass allowed the Wolverines to run out to a 17-9 advantage in transition points.

Jake Eastman's corner 3-pointer with 2:08 left got Bradley's deficit back into single digits, 75-66, but Morgan's putback basket with 1:31 to go ended up being the game's final points.

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