Michigan gets Big Ten on the board
Posted: Tuesday December 2, 2003 11:26PM; Updated: Tuesday December 2, 2003 11:54PM
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan has won its first four games one season after losing its first six.
"The difference now is, we expect to win," Daniel Horton said. "Last year, we were wondering if we could win."
Horton scored 16 points to lead Michigan to a 68-61 win against North Carolina State on Tuesday night in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
The Wolverines (4-0) took control of the game when they held the Wolfpack (3-1) without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes in the second half.
Michigan reserve Dion Harris scored 14 points. Bernard Robinson and Lester Abram each had 10 points, and J.C. Mathis came off the bench to grab nine rebounds and score six points.
"It's still early, but they're feeling good about themselves, and they should," said Michigan coach Tommy Amaker, who won his 100th game and improved to 32-31 in two-plus seasons in Ann Arbor. "I thought we had fine play from a number of players throughout the game, and we had to."
Despite winning their first three games, the Wolfpack fell out of The Associated Press poll after being ranked 25th last week.
Julius Hodge led N.C. State with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting along with eight rebounds and five assists.
"He scored and shot at a high percentage," N.C. State coach Herb Sendek said. "But the thing that stood out, like the rest of our team, was his [six] turnovers."
Scooter Sherrill scored 14 points for the Wolfpack, and Marcus Melvin added seven points and seven rebounds.
After N.C. State pulled within one, Michigan took a 53-42 lead with just under seven minutes left. Hodge then ended the Wolfpack's field-goal drought with a three-point play.
"I thought Michigan did a great job on defense," Sendek said. "But we turned the basketball over too much."
N.C. State had 19 turnovers. Michigan had 15.
The Wolfpack made just enough uncontested layups and Michigan missed enough free throws in the final minutes to allow them to pull within four with 20.4 seconds left, but they couldn't get closer.
"We didn't do enough to extend our lead," Amaker said. "I'm not sure we took advantage of the moments that they had trouble putting the ball in the basket."
The Wolverines improved to 2-1 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, and N.C. State fell to 3-2.
Michigan led by seven early, then trailed by nine midway through the first half before leading 33-27 at halftime.
"When we play like we're coached to, we feel like we can play with anybody," Horton said.