ANN ARBOR, Mich. Reed Baker scored a career-high 19 points and DeShawn Sims added a career-best 13 markers as Michigan held off a very game Army team, 62-50, Thursday evening at Crisler Arena. The Wolverines improve to 12-2 on the season, while the Black Knights slip to 9-4 on the year.
Army was led by junior guard Jarell Brown, who scored a game-high 22 points on 9-of-19 shooting. It marked his sixth 20-point game of the season.
For the first time since the 2002-03 season, the Black Knights played a game without senior guard Matt Bell. Bell sat out the game with an injury, snapping his streak of 93 consecutive starts.
Army played Michigan even through the first 12 minutes, eventually taking a 17-15 lead at the 8:10 mark. From there, the Wolverines outscored the Black Knights, 23-8, down the stretch to assume a 38-25 halftime advantage. Sims paced Michigan in the first half with 13 points, while Baker tallied 11 points.
Brown spearheaded Army’s effort in the first half, scoring 15 of his game-high 22 points on 6-of-10 shooting. The first stanza featured four ties and two lead changes. Michigan shot 44.4 percent (12-of-27) from the field in the opening 20 minutes, while Army shot 37.5 (9-of-24) percent from the floor. The Wolverines outrebounded the Black Knights, 21-12, in the first half.
Michigan led 51-34 at the 11:35 mark following Baker’s fifth three-pointer of the game, but a furious 14-5 Army scoring spurt trimmed the Wolverines' cushion to just eight points at 56-48 with 1:52 to play. The Black Knights were unable to crawl any closer, however, as Michigan hit its free throws down the stretch to seal the 12-point victory.
Freshman Chris Walker added nine points for Army, while sophomore Kenny Brewer chipped in seven points and seven rebounds.
Army returns to action on Sunday, Dec. 31, when the Black Knights close out the calendar year with a 12 p.m. contest versus Sacred Heart at Christl Arena.