Old Dominion 43

(24-10, 13-5 CAA)

Michigan 66

(22-10, 8-8 Big Ten)

7:00 PM ET, March 28, 2006

Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

1 2 T
ODU 24 1943
MICH 33 3366

Top Performers

Old Dominion: D. Williamson 10 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast

Michigan: C. Sims 18 Pts, 7 Reb

Michigan routs ODU to reach second NIT final in three years

NEW YORK (AP) -- After an up-and-down season, the Michigan Wolverines have a chance to win a championship.

Courtney Sims scored 18 points to help Michigan beat Old Dominion 66-43 on Tuesday night and advance to the finals of the NIT for the second time in three years.

"It's a different feeling because we had to overcome a lot of things," said senior point guard Daniel Horton, who had 10 points for the Wolverines.

"We're back to the three H's [healthy, happy and hungry] that coach talked about. When we got those three we're a better team."

Michigan (22-10) ended the run of one of the two Colonial Athletic Association teams that were still playing in the postseason. George Mason is in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament and will face Florida on Saturday.

The Wolverines, who had lost seven of their last nine games before the start of the NIT, will play either South Carolina or Louisville in the championship game on Thursday night.

Trailing 21-14 with 12:14 left in the first half, Michigan held the Monarchs without a field goal for the rest of the half.

"They probably missed some shots they ordinarily make," Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said.

The Wolverines outscored the Monarchs 19-3 over that stretch, highlighted by Sims' two-handed dunk that made it 31-24. Sims scored eight points during the run.

"It feels good that we won and I helped us win," said Sims, who was 8-for-10 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds. "I was just trying to be aggressive out there."

The Monarchs also lost junior forward Arnaud Dahi to a knee injury with 30 seconds left in the half. Old Dominion coach Blaine Taylor said he fears it may be a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Brian Henderson finally ended the drought for the Monarchs (24-10) with a 3-pointer 1:12 into the second half. He made three straight 3s to get the Monarchs within 35-33, but the Wolverines responded with a 13-5 run to take command of the game. Brent Petway capped the spurt with a two-handed alley-oop dunk that gave Michigan a 48-38 lead.

"Both halves I thought we asserted ourselves early and they came back in a good way at us," Taylor said.

Old Dominion would get no closer than eight the rest of the way as Michigan ended the game on a 18-5 run.

"They wore us down, especially inside," Old Dominion forward Alex Loughton said.

The Wolverines held Old Dominion's leading scorer Isaiah Hunter to just two points. He was 1-for-15 from the field, including going 1-for-10 in the first half.

"He wasn't his old self," Taylor said. "We wouldn't be here ... Isaiah had 28 at Colorado, 29 at Hofstra. We rode the horses that got us here. But some of them came up limping and lame."

Old Dominion shot a season-low 28 percent from the field.

Henderson led the Monarchs with 11 points and Drew Williamson added 10.

Michigan beat Miami 71-65 to advance to the semifinals.

The Wolverines' last trip to New York ended with the 2004 NIT title, the third in school history. Michigan is 7-1 in the NIT semifinals and finals.

This year's tournament was the first under the control of the NCAA, which purchased the rights to the preseason and postseason NITs in August as part of a settlement that ended a four-year legal fight between the two parties.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 43 66
FG Made-Attempted 15-54 (.278) 27-59 (.458)
3P Made-Attempted 6-21 (.286) 4-18 (.222)
FT Made-Attempted 7-12 (.583) 8-14 (.571)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
Largest Lead 7 24


» Mar 28, 2006 @MICH 66, ODU 43Recap