Michigan Beats Oakland At The Palace

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- For six minutes Saturday, Michigan and Oakland put on a spectacular shooting performance. Only one of them was able to keep it up.
The Wolverines (8-2) hit 10 first-half 3-pointers on their way to a 89-76 victory over the Golden Grizzles (7-6) at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
"When a team goes 10-for-18 on 3-pointers in the first half, and most of them are from behind the NBA line, all you can do is pat them on the back and go on," said Oakland coach Greg Kampe.
The game started with both teams hitting shots from all over the floor. Michigan hit 3-pointers on its first four possessions, including three by Stu Douglass, but Oakland answered with three triples of its own to take a 15-14 lead.
"I've been coaching for 31 years, and I've never seen anything like that," Kampe said. "The problem was that they kept going."
Michigan coach John Beilein put in Laval Lucas-Perry, a transfer from Arizona who was playing in his first game as a Wolverine. Beilein had tried to lower expectations for Lucas-Perry's debut, but that went out the window when the guard quickly knocked down four 3-pointers.
"I still think there are going to be rocky stretches ahead for Laval, but today didn't appear to be one of them," the coach said. "He just went out there and buried everything."
Lucas-Perry's shooting keyed an 18-0 Michigan run that gave the Wolverines a 42-34 lead at the half.
"I wasn't nervous, but it is always good to hit that first shot and get yourself into a rhythm," he said. "My teammates were doing a great job of getting me the ball and I hit four straight."
Michigan star Manny Harris didn't score in the half, but did have eight assists.
"They play zone, and Manny was doing a fantastic job of finding the open man and putting the ball into the perfect spot for him," Beilein said.
Harris went back to his normal game in the second half, scoring 15 points and adding five more assists.
Meanwhile, Oakland's best player was in street clothes once again. Derick Nelson broke his foot the day before the Grizzlies' opener and the team doesn't know when or if he might return.
"I cry myself to sleep over that, because this was supposed to be our year and then we have a freak injury like that," Kampe said. "He's only one player, but he was our leader. It's the same thing as if you took Manny Harris away from Michigan."
Michigan shot 49 percent from the floor for the game and missed only one of 17 free throws.
"We knew we were going to have to keep hitting shots, because we couldn't stop them," Beilein said. "Greg is a brilliant offensive coach, and they were going to make it tough on us."
Oakland was within four, 69-65, with six minutes left, but Harris scored a backdoor layup and Zack Novak and Kelvin Grady followed with 3-pointers to put the game away.
"This is going to go down as a great win against a terrific team," said Beilein, who missed Michigan's previous game with vertigo. "There was a lot going on with us, and we still played very well."


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