Dec. 31, 2009
Site: Assembly Hall (Bloomington, Ind.)
Score: Indiana 71, Michigan 65
Records: Michigan (6-6, 0-1 Big Ten), Indiana (7-6, 1-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Jan. 3 -- vs. Ohio State (Crisler Arena), 4:30 p.m.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- On the last day of 2009 on Thursday (Dec. 31), the University of Michigan men's basketball team fell at Indiana in the Big Ten Conference opener, 71-65, at Assembly Hall. Sophomore guard and Indiana native Zack Novak (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) led the Wolverines with season highs in points (18) and rebounds (nine), as Michigan fell to 6-6 on the season (0-1 in Big Ten).
The Wolverines led 56-55 with 3:15 to play and overcame a three-point deficit shortly after to tie it at 61-all with 1:25 remaining, but the hometown Hoosiers found luck on their side to pull out the win.
Another Indiana native, sophomore guard Stu Douglass (Carmel, Ind./Carmel), added 16 points. Michigan's top two scorers, junior guard Manny Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford) and senior forward DeShawn Sims (Detroit, Mich./Pershing), were plagued with foul trouble during most of the afternoon but finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Michigan jumped out to an early 13-5 lead thanks to a pair of three-point buckets from Novak and another one Douglass. The Wolverines started 4-for-5 from behind the arc in the first half but cooled off, converting only 1-for-11 after a hot start.
Indiana took advantage of the Michigan misfires and proceeded to go on a 15-0 spurt over a five-minute stretch of play. Harris, the Big Ten's leading scorer, was held to just two points in the first half, with his play limited by foul trouble. He picked up his second foul at the 11:46 mark and with Harris on the bench, Indiana began its run, and the Hoosiers led 34-28 at the break.
Michigan hit its first three shots of the second half, but fouls continued to plague the Wolverines in the early stages of the frame. Sims picked up two quick ones to join Harris with three, and Indiana was already in the bonus during the first five minutes of the second stanza. Where there are fouls, there will be free throws, and Indiana took advantage, going 20-for-29 (69 percent) from the charity stripe, compared to a 12-for-15 (80 percent) clip for the Wolverines.
Indiana reeled off a 7-0 run to lead 50-43, but Michigan kept its composure and kept it close, trimming the Hoosiers' lead to one possession at 55-53 with 3:43 left. Novak hit the front end of a one-and-one, rebounded his own miss on the second and nailed a corner three-pointer to put the Wolverines back in front, 56-55.
A few plays later, with Michigan trailing by three, Novak was fouled on a three-point attempt but went to the line and made all three of his free throws to once again tie the game, this time at 59-all. Indiana tacked on two free throws, but Harris responded with two of his own to tie the game at 61-61.
On the ensuing possession, Indiana's Jeremiah Rivers made an acrobatic layup and was fouled to give Indiana a 64-61 lead with under a minute to play. Michigan traded points on the next two possessions, keeping the IU lead to two, but Indiana converted on its free throws down the stretch (7-for-8 in the final minute) to seal the victory.
Indiana's Verdell Jones III had 20 points to lead all scorers.
Michigan returns to Crisler Arena for the first time in the New Year on Sunday (Jan. 3), when it hosts Ohio State at 4:30 p.m. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423