The (#22) University of Michigan men’s basketball team played two games on the road last week, and they won one and lost one. On Tuesday (01/24/2012) they beat Purdue 66-64, then on Sunday (01/29/2012) they lost at Ohio State 64-49. This brings Michigan’s record to 16-6 (6-3 in the Big Ten).
This was a good news/bad news kind of week. The good news (obviously) was that UM finally won a true road game (not to be confused with the 4 “neutral site” games). The bad news was that they got overpowered in the OSU game. Actually, Michigan hung around pretty well in the loss to OSU, but they faded in the last 6 minutes. They pulled to within 7 points (50-43) with 5:44 left, but OSU finished with a 14-6 run. UM didn’t get embarrassed, but they didn’t get the win either.
The win at Purdue was pretty impressive. UM led for most of the game, but Purdue pulled into the lead (48-47) with 9:08 left. From that point on, the lead changed hands 7 times, and never got bigger than 4 points. It was a close, exciting finish, and Michigan deserved to win the game.
Let’s look at the stats. In the Purdue game, Michigan shot pretty well overall (27-for-50 = 54.0%), shot very well from 3-point range (6-for-14 = 42.9%), and shot just OK from the free-throw line (6-for-9 = 66.7%). They won the rebounding battle handily (30-23), but they had more turnovers than Purdue (12-9). Those are good enough numbers to win on the road. The stats from the OSU game are not as impressive. UM didn’t shoot very well overall (19-for-53 = 35.8%), they didn’t shoot very well from 3-point range (8-for-25 = 32.0%), and they didn’t shoot enough from the free-throw line (3-for-4 = 75.0%). Since OSU went 15-for-18 (83.3%) from the free-throw line, free throws almost completely account for the final margin of victory.
Individually, only one Michigan player hit double figures in both games this week: Tim Hardaway Jr. (19 vs. Purdue, 15 vs. OSU). Three other players hit double figures in one game: Trey Burke (6 and 13), Jordan Morgan (12 and 8), and Stu Douglass (12 and 7). The fifth starter, Zack Novak, had a rough week, with 5 points vs. Purdue and 0 points vs. OSU.
The bench chipped in 12 points (Matt Vogrich – 2, Evan Smotrycz – 10) in the Purdue game, but only 6 points (Blake McLimans – 3, Smotrycz – 3) in the OSU game. I keep saying it every week: Michigan needs more bench scoring.
The Nothing But ‘Net Expectation-O-Meter (NBNEOM) continues to point to “Meets Expectations”. Getting that first road win was big, and losing to OSU on the road wasn’t too surprising.
Michigan plays two games this week, one at home and one on the road. On Wednesday (02/01/2012, 6:30 p.m., Big Ten Network), Michigan plays Indiana in Crisler Arena, then on Sunday (02/05/2012, 1:00 p.m., CBS), they play at Michigan State. These are two very tough games. Michigan barely lost to Indiana (73-71) earlier this season in Bloomington, and Michigan barely beat MSU (60-59) in Crisler Arena a couple weeks ago.
Check back next week to see what happened, and why.