for this game

Sims, Harris help Michigan keep tournament hopes alive

Feb 27, 2009 - 6:38 AM ANN ARBOR, Michigan (Ticker) -- The Michigan Wolverines have perched themselves directly on top of the NCAA Tournament bubble. All they did on Thursday was keep it from popping.

DeShawn Sims scored a career-high 29 points and Manny Harris added 27 as Michigan kept itself on the bubble with an 87-78 victory over No. 16 Purdue.

Sims led a torrid shooting effort for the Wolverines (18-11, 8-8 Big Ten), knocking down 13-of-16 shots as the team connected on 63 percent (29-of-46) of its field goal attempts, including 8-of-16 from beyond the arc.

"I have played high school and AAU with (Sims)," Harris said. "I have seen all those moves, nothing was a shock. I expect it from him this whole year and I will continue to expect it from him. It was no shock; he is a great player both inside and out."

Michigan, which bounced back from a bad loss at Iowa, finishes the regular season at Wisconsin and Minnesota.

"Those are things you go through in a season," Michigan coach John Beilein said of bouncing back from the loss. "You just go through them and we bounced back. As soon as we went on the floor (for practice) on Tuesday (we knew) that Purdue was going to have to play a pretty good game to beat us. We were going to be ready. The first hour and a half we went non-stop, as hard as we could go."

The Wolverines were clinging to a 58-55 lead with 11:20 to play before Sims and Harris sparked a 19-6 run over the next seven minutes. The two combined for 15 points during the spurt - 11 by Sims - as Michigan connected on all eight of their shots.

"These are games we feel we can win with the right focus and work ethic," Harris said. "We are going to go into these games just like we approached this game. We are focused and we feel like we can win these games."

Sims finished with 17 points after the break as the Wolverines went 17-of-21 from the field in the final 20 minutes.

"I was able to hit shots and I definitely established a rhythm. I was able to keep it consistent throughout the whole game."

"DeShawn (Sims) did a great job," Beilein said. "We talked about getting the ball to DeShawn more in the past couple days. He can attract their attention and push it back out or he can score."

Robbie Hummel scored 24 points and E'Twaun Moore added 18 for the Boilermakers (21-7, 10-5), who hit just 7-of-25 3-point attempts as their four-game winning streak came to an end.

Purdue is battling with Illinois (23-6, 11-5) for second place in the Big Ten and a first-round bye in the conference tournament. The Fighting Illini defeated Minnesota at home earlier Thursday.