Michigan 68, Indiana 56: No. 20 Hoosiers latest to fall at the Crisler Center
Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com
Updated 9:57 p.m.
The Michigan basketball team went through a lengthy drought, couldn't get a stop and nearly blew a 20-point lead on Wednesday night.
But the Wolverines were playing at home and coming off a loss. Anyone paying attention this season should know what that means.
A Michigan win.
The 23rd-ranked Wolverines got 18 points from freshman point guard Trey Burke and a pair of key late 3-pointers from Tim Hardaway Jr. and Stu Douglass to push by No. 20 Indiana, 68-56, at the Crisler Center.
"We were coming back home after being on the road for a while, and we were coming off a loss," Michigan senior guard Zack Novak said. "This was a game we just had to have.
"It was gut-check time for a little bit, but this was one we had to have."
With the win, Michigan (17-6, 7-3 Big Ten) remains a perfect 13-0 at home this season. Additionally, the Wolverines are now 6-0 when playing after a loss.
Michigan also avenged a two-point loss from earlier this season against the Hoosiers (17-6, 5-6), who dropped to 1-5 on the road in Big Ten play.
The victory also pushes Michigan into a second-place tie with Wisconsin in the current Big Ten standings.
"We've had times here and there where we've gotten too high on some wins and then come back and not been focused," Douglass said. "But (overall), we've been good at coming back and just focusing on the next game."
Burke, who had 10 points during the game's first five minutes, finished 5-of-9 shooting and also handed out four assists. He also went 6-of-8 from the foul line.
Hardaway made just 4 of 14 shots, but still managed 13 points. Novak ended his night with 13 points and five rebounds.
Jordan Hulls paced the Hoosiers with 18 points, while freshman Cody Zeller added 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Michigan flipped the script on Indiana early, slamming the Hoosiers with a 13-0 run to start the game before eventually moving in front 28-8 after a Jordan Morgan free throw with 7:12 to go in the half.
Afterward, Michigan coach John Beilein said the Wolverines had seen several performances with one or two players carrying the load, but rarely had a full team effort been seen.
During the first 10 minutes, though, Beilein got exactly what he wanted.
"I said (before the game) that it is okay if everyone plays well on the same day," Beilein said. "And today was supposed to be that day, and for those first 10 minutes, it certainly was."
The Wolverines' start was eerily similar to the opening 10 minutes Indiana had at Assembly Hall last month, a game where the Hoosiers put Michigan in a double-digit hole early.
But, just as the Wolverines did against the Hoosiers earlier this season in Bloomington, Indiana fought back. IU used a 9-0 run to draw within 11 points at the break, and eventually used a 12-2 second-half push to get within a two points after a Christian Watford three-point play made it 38-36 Michigan with 12:53 left.
Michigan extended its lead back out to as many as nine after Burke found Morgan inside three minutes later, but Indiana kept charging, getting within three after a Hulls 3-pointer and within two after a Watford foul shot with 3:20 to play in the game.
But the Wolverines woke up from their funk just in time, getting back-to-back 3-pointers from Hardaway and Douglass to go up eight. The buckets were Michigan's first field goals in more than three minutes of action.
The shots proved to be enough, as Michigan went 10-for-12 from the foul line during the game's final 1:23.
"Indiana's a great team and they fought back," Hardaway said. "But after the (last media timeout), (assistant) coach Bacari (Alexander) said 'let's see how many stops we can get in a row.'
"We just challenged (ourselves) and did a great job."
As for Indiana, coach Tom Crean said his team did an admirable job of fighting back to make a game of things, but the game's first 10 minutes were simply unacceptable.
"I'm proud of the way we did come back, I'm proud of the players that did," he said. "(But) our starting lineup was a joke."
Michigan finished 22-for-46 from the floor while Indiana shot 21-of-47. The Wolverines forced the Hoosiers into 14 turnovers, while committing just six of their own.
Michigan was out-rebounded 30-24, but earned the win in the paint, outscoring Indiana inside by a 24-18 margin.
Michigan returns to action Sunday at Michigan State (1 p.m., CBS).
With a win, the Wolverines will score a four-game winning streak over the Spartans, and earn two straight victories in Breslin Center for the first time since 1997.
"The great teams win on the road," Beilein said. "You've really got to be special to play with a 'today's the day' attitude, when you're on the road."
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