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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Runnin' Utes notched another victory against a big time program with their 16 point win over the University of Michigan (68-52) Wednesday night at the Huntsman Center.
Freshman sharp-shooter Marshall Henderson came out on fire for the Utes (5-4), scoring 16 of his new career high 22 points in the opening half. Henderson lit the Wolverines (4-4) up like a Christmas tree hitting 4-8 from behind the arch in the first half.
"He's something", Utah Head Coach Jim Boylen said of Henderson after the game. "He's got great talent and great intelligence."
Although Henderson had a break-out night, he wasn't the high scorer in Wednesday night's contest. Manny Harris, Michigan's marque man, scored a game high 25 points, shooting 8 of 16 from the field. Harris scored almost half of the Wolverines points.
Coach Boylen was impressed with Harris' play. "He's big time," said Boylen. The coach even referred to Michigan's high-scorer as a "first-round pick type guy."
The Utes played what might have been to best game of their season and did so by playing the "Utah Way". They had great pressure on the ball which caused Michigan to shoot an unimpressive 17-50 from the field. When the Wolverines missed, the Utes usually grabbed the boards, ending the game with the rebounding edge, 41 boards for Utah and only 25 for Michigan.
In past games the Utes have seen some of the leads that they built disappear. Against Michigan, it was different. Utah never trailed after the 10:02 mark of the first-half, although Michigan kept the Utes on their heels the whole night.
With 12:10 left in the second-half Harris dropped in a lay-up to cut the Utah lead to one. The Wolverines had a chance to take the lead on their next possession, but David Foster smashed a Michigan lay-up against the glass that started a fast break that ended with Marshall Henderson on the line with a chance to put the Utes up by four with 11:55 to go.
The Utes kept their small buffer on the Wolverines for the next few minutes. With 4:17 left in the game and the Utes up by only six points, Carlon Brown (12 points, eight boards and five helpers) hit a big time 3-pointer from the corner to take all hope out of the Wolverines. It was a only a moment later when Michigan Coach Jim Beilein took Manny Harris out of the game.
Big man David Foster had a great game, contributing 10 points, six rebounds and five blocks in the Utes victory. Luka Drka played a game-high 35 minutes for Coach Boylen, scoring 11 points to go along with a game-high six assists.
The Utes play host to the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday afternoon, led by another outstanding talent in 6'4" Sophomore guard Willie Warren.