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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - For the second time this season, the University of Michigan-Dearborn men's basketball team knocked off a highly-ranked Davenport University squad, topping the No. 8 Panthers on the road Wednesday in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The Wolverines overcame early foul trouble to several key players and led by 11 points with 12 minutes to play, but the Panthers woke up from their shooting slumber to storm back and take a 52-51 lead with 5 minutes left on the clock. The lead for Davenport did not last, as UM-Dearborn regained the advantage on the next possession on a layup from Jeff Cain (SR/Lansing, MI ), who had one of his best nights in a Wolverine uniform. UM-Dearborn held onto the lead the rest of the way and emerged with a 65-62 win.
The win completed a season sweep for the Wolverines over the Panthers, after UM-Dearborn edged Davenport 80-79 in overtime to open the WHAC schedule in November. The Wolverines continue to add to their record win total, moving to 15-7 overall and 9-5 in the WHAC.
"For us to endure the foul trouble early and to battle the way we did says a lot about this team," UM-Dearborn head coach Taylor Langley said. "This was a huge win for us and shows just was this team is capable of doing each night."
Cain finished with his second-highest scoring total of the season with 16 points as he was able to get to the rim for the Wolverines throughout the game. He finished 5-of-8 from the field and 5-of-6 at the free-throw line. Xavier Crofford (SO/Detroit, MI) narrowly missed a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing nine rebounds, while adding four assists. Marcus Williams (SR/Lagos, Nigeria) also was just shy of a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.
With Jason Penn (JR/Detroit, MI) limited to just 22 minutes due to early fouls, the Wolverines turned to the bench for additional scoring. Freshman Cody Kegley (FR/Yale, MI) hit three 3-pointers, finishing with 11 points and adding six rebounds.
UM-Dearborn shot 21-of-47 from the field, 7-of-19 from deep and 16-of-22 from the line. The Wolverines were outrebounded 38-36.
Kevin Rich scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Panthers, including three 3-pointers. He added 11 rebounds for a double-double, while Nick Gamble scored 16 points. Davenport shot 22-of-61 from the field, 9-of-22 from 3-point range and 9-of-19 from the line.
The Wolverines continue a three-game road swing at Siena Heights University at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Adrian, Mich.