Michigan's road battle with the Indiana Hoosiers Wednesday night could have been aptly described as a mindset game. The Wolverines had slain giants UCLA and Duke earlier this season and upended a hot Illinois team the game prior. On paper, defeating Indiana is a much easier proposition. But games aren't played on paper, and as much as Beilein may have given his team that message, it didn't resonate during the first twenty minutes.
Tom Crean's club was a step ahead of the favored Wolverines the entire first half and went into the intermission with a 39-22 lead. After Manny Harris began the second half with a turnover and the Hoosiers expanded their lead to 20 (44-24) with 18:02 left, it seemed as if the final stanza was going to look much like the first. Then the comeback began.
Zack Novak was capped off a 14-4 run with three-pointer to make the score 48-38 with 12:55 remaining. After a Novak block on the defensive end, fellow freshman Stu Douglass nailed a triple of his own to trim the deficit below 10 and force an Indiana timeout.
The Hoosiers answered with five quick points out of the break to push the lead back to 12 (53-41) at the 9:54 mark. The back and forth continued until the waning moments of regulation when down by six, Michigan made its move.
After a long stint on the bench, sophomore forward Manny Harris connected on a huge three pointer to make the score 59-56 with 43 seconds remaining. John Beilein immediately called a timeout so he could prepare his club's fullcourt pressure, but the Hoosiers quickly solved the defense. That resulted in a two-on-one opportunity on the other end. The "one" for the Wolverines was senior C.J. Lee. The team captain maintained his composure and swatted the ball away from Indiana's Devin Dumes as he attempted to go up for the lay-up. Had Dumes backed the ball out, he would have forced the Wolverines to foul -- a fact that he seemed to later realize.
"I didn't recognize the whole situation until we went into overtime," Dumes said. "I should have brought it out. If I had a second chance I'd do it over."
The Wolverines had possession, but there was still the matter of making up the three points that still stood between them and the Hoosiers. With 25 seconds left Kelvin Grady found Laval Lucas-Perry open beyond the arc. The Flint native launched a picture perfect shot that caught the front of the rim, and thanks to a shooters roll, he tied the score to send the game into overtime.
Kelvin Grady nailed a three to open the scoring in the extra session and Michigan never looked back. The Hoosiers squandered opportunities to possibly swing the game in their favor, going 3/9 from the charity stripe. The Wolverines, meanwhile, got big jumpers from Lucas-Perry and Deshawn Sims, and finished 5/6 from the free throw line to hold on for the 72-66 victory.
Lucas-Perry led all scorers with 18 points on the game. Manny Harris chipped in with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Devin Dumes paced Indiana with 17 points. For the boxscore, notes, quotes, click the following links: Boxscore | Notes & Quotes.
With the win the Wolverines move to 2-1 in the Big Ten and 12-3 overall. Next up for the Maize & Blue is match-up with the Iowa Hawkeyes Sunday at 11:30 am at Crisler Arena.