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February 2, 2013Ohio State all over again - probably the best way to describe Michigan's start in an 81-73 loss at Indiana. The Wolverines struggled offensively other than a few jumpers by sophomore point guard Trey Burke, picked up two quick fouls and watched the Hoosiers make their first six shots, including four triples, in opening an 18-7 lead.
It grew to 15 points before U-M battled back to make it a game.
The unbelievably hostile crowd made it hard on Michigan, but the Wolverines made it harder on themselves. Their transition defense struggled, and when the Hoosiers finally did miss a shot, freshman Glenn Robinson III gave up an offensive rebound to Christian Watford for a putback to keep the run going.
Tim Hardaway Jr. hit a couple of jump shots, but U-M's defense continued to struggle, and the Wolverines missed some point blank shorties. They also went 1-for-10 from long range out of the gate, missing several good looks (freshman Nik Stauskas was 0-for-4 from three-point range and 1-for-8 overall), allowing the Hoosiers to build a 28-13 lead.
IU freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell, hot early with two triples, picked up his second foul midway through the half, changing the complexion of the game. Burke notched a steal and finish followed by a finish in transition, and the Wolverines got out and ran on rebounds and 11 Indiana turnovers to battle back.
Michigan managed 35 shots to Indiana's 26, but the Hoosiers shot 54 percent to U-M's 40 in the first half. Burke scored 14, including a long triple at the halftime buzzer to pull U-M within 36-32.
Hardaway scored six points in the half, though he was 0-for-3 from long range, and McGary added a workmanlike six. Redshirt sophomore Jon Horford notched two blocked shots in four good minute starting for injured Jordan Morgan.
Hardaway got things started for Michigan with a finish in transition, pulling U-M within two. A Burke triple and three free throws from Stauskas tied it at 40 early in the half, and it looked like it would be a back and forth affair.
Instead, the Hoosiers responded with their own 9-0 run. The Hoosiers' Jordan Hulls started it with a steal, and poor transition defense left Hulls alone for the triple that made it 49-40.
Hardaway left with his third foul at 16:06, a questionable call on a forced shot by Christian Watford. Burke then missed another wide open triple, making Michigan 3-for-15 from long range at 14:49. Burke turned it over for the third time to give the Hoosiers the ball back, and IU's Will Sheehey made the run 11-0 with a contested jumper from the corner.
U-M's early second half offense consisted of a lot of Burke handling the ball and not much movement. Still, it was a Caris LeVert pass to McGary underneath that ended the drought. The Wolverines battled back within seven on a drive and two-hander by Stauskas at 12:20.
Sheehey missed a triple, and Hardaway responded with one in transition to cut it to 53-49. Ball game on again - even more so when Horford finished an offensive putback with two guys draped on his arms to cut it to two.
Burke came back in at 10:48, hit a stepback jumper from the corner, and Hardaway went coast to coast with an inbound pass to help U-M keep pace, but the Wolverines struggled to guard the dribble. The help left Zeller along for two big dunks on offensive rebounds to open it back up.
Burke cut it to three with a three-point play, but Hulls countered with a triple to push the lead back to six at 4:44, and an Oladipo three-point play made it 67-60 with only 3:37 left. Hardaway hit a jumper, but Robinson's struggles continued when Watford scored over him and he missed a jumper on the other end.
The Hoosiers iced it from the line, though U-M got late triples from Hardaway, Stauskas and Burke to keep it respectable - makes that would have been helpful in the first half.
Burke scored 25 to lead the 20-2 Wolverines. Hardaway scored 18, McGary notched 10 points and seven rebounds and Stauskas 10 for U-M. Robinson III scored two.
The Wolverines had 20 more shots attempts, hoisting 70, but still lost by eight.