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Published: Friday, 12/29/2006

Michigan's Baker leads win over Army

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ANN ARBOR, Mich.- Michigan coach Tommy Amaker went to his bench looking for an emotional boost after a lopsided loss.

He got it, and he may have found a new starting five.

Five days removed from an embarrassing loss at No. 1 UCLA, the Wolverines' starters took a seat and watched the reserves lead them to a 62-50 win over Army last night. Freshmen Reed Baker and DeShawn Sims had career-highs of 19 and 13 points and classmate Ekpe Udoh added eight and nine blocks.

"We haven't been starting halves very well," said Amaker, who sent two sophomores and three freshmen out to start the game. "They played well.

"Those kids certainly have done some positive things and earned the right to do what they did tonight."

The Wolverines' sluggish play in Saturday's 92-55 defeat, along with the subs' practice habits, prompted Amaker to alter the starting lineup for the first time this season. Baker, Sims, Udoh, Jerret Smith and Jevohn Shepherd all made their first starts of the season and more than held their own as Michigan (12-2) built a 10-point first-half lead.

The reserves accounted for all but six of the Wolverines' first-half points half and helped Michigan outscore Army 23-8 in the final eight minutes of the period for a 38-25 midgame lead. Smith capped the run with a running 3-pointer.

Baker, who had never broke double digits before, made three of his four 3-point attempts in the first half and finished the game 5-for-7 from behind the arc.

Jarell Brown scored 22 points for the Black Knights (9-4).

No. 2 NORTH CAROLINA 87, RUTGERS 48

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Brandan Wright had 19 points and seven rebounds for North Carolina.

Fellow freshman Wayne Ellington added 17 points for the Tar Heels (11-1), who used a burst after halftime to cruise to an easy win in a game marked by the strong play of their rookies.

Adrian Hill scored 13 points to lead the Scarlet Knights (6-6), who played without leading scorer J.R. Inman and fellow starter Anthony Farmer. Both were serving one-game suspensions for academic reasons.

North Carolina's standout freshmen led the way. Wright, a 6-foot-9 forward, went 8-for-10 from the field and had three blocks. Ellington went 5-for-6 from 3-point range.

In addition, freshmen forwards Rutgers shot 36 percent for the game, including 8-for-28 in the first half. The Tar Heels also scored 23 points off 18 turnovers.

No. 9 Kansas 63, Detroit 43

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Julian Wright and Russell Robinson led a second-half charge that enabled mistake-prone Kansas to pull away.

The 25-point underdog Titans found themselves trailing only 41-37 when Jon Goode made a 3-pointer with 8:55 to go, silencing a nervous crowd in Allen Fieldhouse where the Jayhawks are 172-11since 1994.

Wright got the decisive 9-0 run going with a pair of quick buckets and Robinson, after Wright rebounded a Detroit miss, hit a 3-pointer that made it 50-37 with 6:02 to play.

Brandon Cotton had 20 for Detroit.

No. 11 Texas A&M 101, Grambling St 27

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Josh Carter tied a school record with eight 3-pointers and Texas A&M scored the first 28 points of the game.

Texas A&M won its 15th straight home game and posted the most lopsided win by a Big 12 team in the conference's history.

Carter also tied a Big 12 record with seven 3s in the first half and Joseph Jones finished with 20 points for the Aggies (11-2).

No. 17 LSU 92, MVSU 58

BATON ROUGE, La. - Glen Davis had 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead LSU (9-3) to the win in the Hispanic College Fund Classic.

Davis, who went 7-of-11 from the field, got his eighth double-double of the season before leaving the court with slightly more than 5 minutes left in the game.

No. 19 Notre Dame 101,

Rider 51

SOUTH BEND, Ind.- Rob Kurz scored 23 points and Kyle McAlarney had 21 points on seven 3-pointers for the Irish.

Notre Dame (11-1) won its 10th straight game in its best run since winning 11 in a row during the 1986-87 season. Ryan Thompson and Terrance Mouton each scored 10 points for Rider (7-5).

No. 21 Tennessee 101, Tennessee Tech 77

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Junior guard JaJuan Smith had a career-high 23 points for Tennessee. Belton Rivers led Tennessee Tech (5-7) with 20 points.

No. 25 Clemson 75,

Georgia 60

CLEMSON, S.C. - Freshman Trevor Booker had 14 points and Vernon Hamilton finished with 13 to help Clemson to remain undefeated.

The Tigers (13-0) are off to their best start since the 1986-87 team started 17-0. Terrance Woodbury scored 14 points for Georgia (8-3).

K.C. Rivers had 13 for Clemson.



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