EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) -- Reed Baker scored 11 points and fellow freshman Ekpe Udoh provided an inside spark Saturday as Michigan survived a sluggish first half to beat Northwestern 58-46.
The Wolverines (14-3, 2-0) won despite only nine points from leading scorer Courtney Sims, who was in foul trouble.Northwestern (10-5, 0-2) managed just one basket in the final 6:58, a driving layup by Tim Doyle for the game's final points with 15 seconds to go. Doyle led the Wildcats with 13 points and Kevin Coble chipped in 10. Northwestern shot just 19 percent (5-for-26) in the second half.Sims, averaging 13.4 points, got two fouls and played only 13 minutes in the opening half. He picked up his third foul less than three minutes into the second and teammate Lester Abram got his third a short time later.But Udoh was a force off the bench with eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks. He banked in a hook and hit a follow-up shot to give Michigan five-point lead with just more than 10 minutes left.Sims hit three free throws to push the lead to six before picking up his fourth foul with 7:26 to go.Doyle made two free throws and then a layup to cut the lead to two. But Abram's 3-pointer moments after two free throws by Baker gave the Wolverines a seven-point cushion with six minutes remaining.Udoh missed two free throws, but Northwestern's Jeremy Nash couldn't covert a layup and then Brent Petway scored for Michigan to make it 52-44. After another missed layup, this one by Vince Scott, Northwestern's upset bid was over.Doyle's jumper at the first half buzzer tied the game at 28. The first 20 minutes were played at Northwestern's pace, thanks mainly to the Wildcats' 1-3-1 zone that kept Michigan on the perimeter and made it difficult to get the ball inside.After missing their first six 3-pointers, the Wildcats made three in a row late in the half, the final one by Coble for a 20-15 lead. Scott's basket kept the Wildcats ahead by five, but Michigan got seven points in a row with Udoh capping the run by blocking a shot and then scoring inside to put the Wolverines ahead 28-26.Dione Harris, averaging 12.9 for Michigan, scored only six.