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LIMA, Ohio - The University of Michigan-Dearborn men's basketball team went on a 17-1 run to close the first half after falling behind early against the University of Northwestern Ohio in the first round of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Thursday in Lima, Ohio.
The run pushed the Wolverines into the lead and the team held on for a 61-54 win, the first for UM-Dearborn in the WHAC Conference Tournament since 2009. The Wolverines move on to the WHAC semifinals where they will play No. 1 seed Cornerstone University at 3 p.m. Saturday in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The win also gives the Wolverines the first 20-win season in program history, as UM-Dearborn is now 20-11 overall.
Down 20-12, UM-Dearborn raced to the end of the first half, sparked by a 3-pointer from Cody Kegley (FR/Yale, MI) and a fast break dunk from Ashton Curd (JR/Detroit, MI). The Wolverines led 29-21 at the break over the Racers, who went without a made field goal for 10 minutes starting with seven to play in the first half.
UNOH made a couple of attempts to close the gap in the second half, but big shots from several UM-Dearborn players, including a pair of 3-pointers from Alex Hagel (SO/Macomb, MI), lifted the Wolverines to the win.
Xavier Crofford (SO/Detroit, MI) led the Wolverines with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Jason Penn (JR/Detroit, MI) added 13 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double. Senior Marcus Williams (SR/Lagos, Nigeria) added 11 points and six rebounds, ensuring his UM-Dearborn career will continue.
UM-Dearborn shot 22-of-52 from the field, 6-of-19 from deep and 11-of-17 from the line, while outrebounding the Racers 37-30.
UNOH was led by Sadeeq Bello with 14 points, while Lawrence Jackson added 12.