BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Michigan rallied from a six point halftime deficit, but folded down the stretch as the Wolverines fell to 6-6 on the season with a 71-65 loss to the Indiana Hoosiers on Thursday afternon at Assembly Hall.
Zack Novak, who led the Wolverines with 18 points, put Michigan on top 56-55 with a three-point jumper with 3:15 to play, but Michigan couldn't hold on. Indiana answered with a pair of Christian Watford free throws, plus four straight points by Verdell Jones III to match three more points from Zack Novak, then iced it with a a handful of Jordan Hulls free throws in the final minute as U-M came up just short in its Big 10 opener.
Manny Harris finished with 13 points for the Wolverines, but Michigan's All-Big 10 wing finished just 4-of-11 from the floor and 1-of-5 from behind the three-point arc. DeShawn Sims added 12 before fouling out in the final minutes of the contest.
Michigan surged to a 13-5 lead in the opening minutes of the game behind a sharp-shooting effort behind the long ball arc. DeShawn Sims got Michigan on the board two minutes into the game with a lay up, then, following a Stu Douglass dunk, Novak connected on back-to-back triples and Douglass added a third. Novak added a his third triple to make it 17-9 after a pair of Indiana Christian Watford buckets.
Indiana's decisive stretch came in the seven minutes after the Novak triple. Devan Dumes sparked a 20-4 run with a pair of triples, to get Indiana within a point at 21-20. Hulls then added a three-ball as well, and Watford and Jones III added points to put Indiana up 29-21 with 5:18 to play in the half. It would end at 34-28 after layups by DeShawn Sims and Manny Harris and a three-pointer from Stu Douglass.
Michigan opened the second half with an 8-2 run to pull the score even at 36. Harris and Sims opened the half with Michigan's first eight points. Indiana answered with six straight, though, to re-establish its six point lead. It's biggest lead of the second half would be seven points on a Tom Pritchard layup with 9:12 left in the game.
Michigan clawed back into it with points from Harris and another Douglass triple to set the stage for Novak's three that gave Michigan its shortlived second half lead.
Michigan returns home to Crisler Arena on Sunday afternoon to meet the Ohio State Buckeyes at 4:30.
U-M Falls 71-65 to IU
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