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 68, INDIANA 56
Visiting Indiana whittled the Wolverines' early 20-point lead down to just two late in the second half, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Tim Hardaway Jr. and Stu Douglass gave Michigan the separation it needed to move to a perfect 13-0 at home this season.
START AND FINISH
Trey Burke had 10 points in the game's first five minutes, but had to wait roughly 30 minutes for his next mark on the score sheet. Michigan’s freshman point guard was able to finish what he started, though, scoring six of his eight points over the final five minutes from the foul line.
NICK OF TIM
Tim Hardaway Jr. had another sluggish shooting night, going 4-for-14 from the floor and just 2-of-8 from behind the 3-point line. But his big triple from the corner with less than three minutes to play, and subsequent assist to Douglass for another triple one possession later, sealed the deal for Michigan. He finished with 13 points, three assists and two rebounds.
"The great teams win on the road. You've really got to be special to play with a 'today's the day' attitude, when you're on the road."
Notebook: Tim Hardaway Jr. struggles, but still finds a way, and more notes
Boxscore | Top 25 scores | Big Ten scores
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."
Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.
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Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.
This team still has not put it together. They seem to be searching for their identity on offense, which is understandable with a new point guard. The schedule lightens up a bit toward the end of the regular season, and if they can find a rhythm, watch out!...they could be a tough out in the tournaments! Stu, stick to the spot up three's, and forget the long bombs that almost never go in. Evan, grab the rebound and pass it to your guard, you are not a ball handler. Tim, you need the ball coming off screens so you can attack the rim. If you are trying to create your own shot, it's ok to dump the ball to another open player vs. Going up out of control. Just sayin'
Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 2:52 a.m.
A big win that keeps Michigan relevant in the the hunt for the B1G title. I sure would like to see Hardaway perform up the expectations most have placed on him. I realize he's young, and he certainly has potential, but if he got hot we'd be hard to stop.
Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 2:39 a.m.
Not really a BB fan Rich, but I can't remember the home court advantage being so great in the Big Ten......really amazing, really !
Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 2:38 a.m.
Any home win this year is a great win, but I still don't understand why Michigan shoots so many 3's. Jordan Morgan is a growing presence inside and they ;just don't go to him often enough. Hardaway would be a much better player if he took the ball inside. Stu chucks them up and hurts the team often (though he does enough good stuff to forgive all those errant shots from downtown). Just wish that offense would concentrate on offensive boards and inside play. They'd be much tougher.
Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 4:06 p.m.
I agree with you that Stu brings much more positive than negative. I just think that he (and the offensive strategy, including Hardaway and others) are pleased to shoot 25% or less from 3 point land rather than being patient and pound the ball inside to draw fouls and get higher percentage shots. When he shoots and makes it, it is awesome, but too often, those 3s don't hit and there is no rebounding so it is essentially a turnover. That offensive output from Stu and Hardaway last night allowed IU back into the game. But I love Stu and what he brings, just like Novak.
Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 12:28 p.m.
slightly different take----stu has been phenomenal since being inserted back in with the starters. he's handled the ball very well and taken a little of the ballhandling pressure off burke. stu has driven into the paint and then found an open man. he won't score 20 a game but doesn't have to. team had SIX turnovers last night. that is superior. go blue !
Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 1:55 a.m.
Great win, Michigan! When did they change Crisler Arena to the Crisler Center?
Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 4:16 a.m.
I was at the game. It was great - a good rebound from the OSU thumping. As an added bonus, Denard was in the stands - in the student section, no less. The crowd applauded when they put his image on the jumbotron. And thanks, Rich - I too was wondering about the name change to Crisler Center.
Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 2:01 a.m.
Back in late December, RudeJude. <a href="http://www.annarbor.com/sports/um-basketball/michigans-revamped-basketball-facility-now-called-crisler-center/?cmpid=RSS_link_um_basketball">http://www.annarbor.com/sports/um-basketball/michigans-revamped-basketball-facility-now-called-crisler-center/?cmpid=RSS_link_um_basketball</a>