A ten-year losing streak as visitors into the Hoosier domain caused the Michigan Basketball staff to think a little outside of the box heading into Wednesday night's game. The customary routine obviously had not reaped any dividends during the aforementioned period. As at matter of fact, it had only produced positive results four times in the 34-year history of Assembly Hall.
Coach Tommy Amaker's altered travel plan, heading to Bloomington the day of the game as opposed to the day before, looked as if it was going to have the desired effect early. The Wolverines did an excellent job of exploiting their size advantage in the post. Ten of their first thirteen points, (six of which came from Courtney Sims), were scored down low. That was good enough to earn a 13-13 at the 12:29 mark, but things would dry up for them offensively after that.
Michigan went without a field goal for the next seven minutes and was outscored 9-2 during that stretch, giving the Hoosiers a 22-15 lead. A Daniel Horton lay-up finally ended the run with less than six minutes to go. That bucket seemed to rejuvenate the Maize and Blue and started a 15-5 run that sent them into the locker room up 30-27. Michigan's hot first half shooting (57.1%) compensated for their 11 first half turnovers, but that wouldn't be the case in the second half.
The Wolverines committed four straight turnovers early in the period, sparking a run by the Hoosiers. Bracey Wright netted the first five points of the second half as part of an 8-0 spurt that gave Indiana a 35-30 lead with 16:53 to go. The Wolverines would fight back, twice cutting the deficit to one over the next four and a half minutes, but then ran into their second cold spell of the night.
Down 38-37 at the 12:15 mark, Michigan went over seven minutes without a field goal. Their only points during that span came on free throws from John Andrews and Brent Petway. The Hoosiers, on the other hand, found a groove by riding the back of freshman DJ White. When the dust settled Indiana had outscored the Wolverines 13-4 (with White scoring 11 straight) to give the home team a 51-41 lead with 5:30 left in the game.
Brent Petway ended the scoring drought by throwing down a lob on an inbounds play and Daniel Horton followed that up by scoring five of Michigan's next eight points to cut the lead to three. But the Wolverines would get no closer. Bracey Wright's runner from the left baseline to put the Mike Davis' club up by five was big, but Robert Vaden's subsequent tip in of a miss was the nail in the coffin, as the Hoosiers went on to the 62-53 victory.
In the end, Tommy Amaker blamed his team's twenty turnovers for its lack of success. "It was a huge difference," Amaker said. "We certainly self-destructed and you have to give Indiana credit for the things that they did. But it was totally unacceptable for us to play in the manner in which we did in terms of turning the ball over. It's very disappointing because of the way we have been playing and showing some toughness. They (Indiana) got us out of synch and we went in a downward spiral. We had no one out on the floor that could get things together and make things happen. If you have that on the road, then it's a formula for failure."
On the game Brent Petway led the Wolverines with 12 points, while the Hoosiers were paced by Bracey Wright and DJ White with 16 apiece. For the complete boxscore, click here.
The Wolverines will look to rebound from their first conference loss against
the 24th ranked Wisconsin Badgers, Saturday at Crisler Arena. The game is set
to tip at 12:17 PM on ESPN Regional.