|#1 Michigan (20-2, 7-2)||32||41||73|
|#3 Indiana (20-2, 8-1)||36||45||81|
Winning on the road in the Big Ten is always a tough proposition and it’s even more so when facing third-ranked Indiana in Assembly Hall in a nationally televised primetime game. Michigan found that out on Saturday night with a 81-73 loss to the Hoosiers.
Michigan won the tip and Nik Stauskas drove the lane, took a hard hit as he missed the layup and Indiana recovered. As Indiana crossed midcourt, the ball went loose and in the hustle to regain it, Jon Horford was whistled for a foul. And so the game went. Indiana star Cody Zeller got the scoring started with a pair of free throws and the Hoosiers would get there often, making 22-of-25 for the game.
Michigan took the lead on a Trey Burke three, but Indiana’s Victor Oladipo answered with a three of his own. From there, Indiana went on a 15-4 run to open up a 20-7 lead before Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a piar of buckets. From that point, Michigan outscored the Hoosiers 25-16, punctuated by a step-back three by Burke just before the buzzer to cut the deficit to four.
To start the second half, Hardaway and Zeller traded buckets and Burke nailed a three to pull Michigan within one. Zeller answered with a dunk, but Stauskas was fouled on a three-point attempt and made all three free throws to tie the game. However, Michigan was unable to capitalize on the momentum, as Indiana scored 11 straight to grab a 51-40 lead with just over 14 minutes to play.
Michigan went to work again, chipping away at the Hoosier lead, cutting it to four by the under-12 timeout. A Horford layup pulled Michigan within two and the teams played evenly for the next four minutes.
With just under four minutes to play, and Michigan down four, Oladipo drove the lane and was tied up by Hardaway. The officials whistled Hardaway for the foul, but inexplicably gave Oliadipo credit for the basket despite the fact that he took two-and-a-half steps after the tie-up before he laid in the basket. He converted the three-point play to widen the IU lead to seven.
Michigan was forced to chuck up threes and send the Hoosiers to the line in the closing minutes and Indiana escaped with the eight-point victory.
Michigan shot 42.9 percent from the field and 30.4 percent from three-point range, while Indiana shot a blistering 52 percent from the field and 38.9 percent from downtown. IU out-rebounded Michigan 38-29, but the game was won on the free throw line where the Hoosiers made 22 compared to Michigan’s six.
Burke led all scorers with 25 points on 24 shots, while Hardaway had a much more efficient 18 points. Burke also dished out eight assists. Stauskas and Mitch McGary each chipped in 10, though Stauskas struggled with his shot all game, much like he did in Columbus a couple weeks ago. Glenn Robinson was held to just two points on 1-of-6 shooting and looked completely overmatched at times. We may never know for sure, but it seemed like something was off with him.
All five Hoosiers scored in double figures, led by Zeller’s 19 points and 10 boards. Oladipo scored 15, while Christian Watford also had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Michigan falls a game behind Indiana in the Big Ten standings and will lose the No. 1 national ranking. But let’s not forget – the Wolverines were without Jordan Morgan (he did play two minutes) who was still recovering from an ankle injury he suffered in the previous game. His inside presence was severely missed, as Zeller was able to get several put-back dunks with no body to block him out. Horford and McGary filled in pretty well, but Morgan’s experience was certainly missed.
The Wolverines return home on Tuesday for a must-win battle with Ohio State. Everybody remembers the previous meeting when Michigan fell behind big in the first half and battled back only to fall by three. A loss on Tuesday would put the Big Ten title in jeopardy and give the Buckeyes yet another win over the Maize and Blue. From there, Michigan travels to Wisconsin and Michigan State to complete an early February gauntlet.
|Final Game Stats|
|01||Glenn Robinson III*||1-6||0-0||0-0||2||2||4||1||2||1||1||0||0||40|
|10||Tim Hardaway Jr.*||8-16||2-5||0-0||0||1||1||4||18||0||2||0||0||34|