By JERAMY STOVER, Sports Editor
After dropping their first two games of the season, the University of Michigan-Dearborn men’s basketball team was looking to earn their fourth straight victory on Saturday.
After an intense second half the Wolverines got the win they were looking for defeating Spring Arbor 69-66.
With just 47 seconds left in the first half, sophomore guard Xavier Crofford knocked down a three point shot to put UM-Dearborn (4-2) up by five. They would take a seven point lead into halftime after going on an 8-2 run.
The Wolverines didn’t slow down at the start of the second half. The Wolverines extended their lead to 15 over Spring Arbor (3-3) at the 7:33 mark of the half. But then the Cougars woke up and looked more energized than the home team.
Spring Arbor went on a 17-2 run in five minutes to bring the game to a 62-62 tie.
“I think our energy level just dipped I think our guys started trying to make one-on-one plays, we built a lead and thought we were invincible and stopped playing together on both ends of the floor and once we stopped playing together on both ends of the floor it really hurt us,” head coach Taylor Langley said.
The Wolverines would quickly get their lead back and surge to a five point lead after a pair of Jeff Cain free throws.
As UM-Dearborn was looking to inbound the ball with 13 seconds left and milk the clock, the Cougars got a steal but missed a three point attempt and settled on a tip-in lay-up.
But Marcus Williams would go on to sink both of his free throws on the next possession to put away the Cougars and seal the victory.
Williams led the Wolverines with 22 points and seven rebounds. After the game Langley said it’s a type of game he expects from his senior leader.
“He’s supposed (to have this type of game) he’s a senior he’s our best player I think he’s one of the best players in the league, I expect this out of him every night because he’s capable of it,” Langley said. “I just liked the energy that he played with I thought his energy level was very high for a majority of the game so he was good.”
Junior guard Ashton Curd contributed nicely off the bench with a timely block with seven seconds left to help preserve the victory. Williams said he considers Curd the “Draymond Green” of the Wolverines
“He is extremely important he’s like our energy guy he’s like our Draymond Green if we’re the Warriors he’s very energetic he brings a lot to the table when he’s really focused, expect more great things out of him throughout the year,” Williams said.
Crofford finished the game with 18 points and junior forward Jason Penn had a game high 11 rebounds.
UM-Dearborn will begin conference play this week and will be tested right away as they welcome No. 3 Davenport on Wednesday. The Wolverines then travel to Lourdes for a Saturday contest.