The (#5) University of Michigan men’s basketball team won a big game on the road last week, after looking terrible in the beginning of their previous game, a 56-53 loss to Ohio State. On Thursday (01/17/2013), they beat (#9) Minnesota 83-75. The win raises UM’s record to 17-1, 4-1 in Big Ten play. They are tied for 2nd place in the Big Ten.
In their loss to OSU, Michigan started the game playing terribly, and they dug themselves into a hole that they spent the next 30 minutes digging out of. Not so in the Minnesota game. They came out playing hard from the opening tip, and never let Minnesota get very far ahead. Minnesota’s biggest lead was 6-2, in the opening minutes. They were still ahead, 13-10, with about 14 minutes left in the 1st half, when Michigan got it going. The Wolverines went on a nice 16-3 run, to open up a 10-point lead (26-16) with 8 minutes left in the 1st half, and they never trailed again. Minnesota managed to cut the deficit to 2 points a couple times, including 30-28 with about 4 minutes left in the half, but Michigan managed to counter every Minnesota run. Michigan led by 6 (36-30) at halftime, and pushed the lead right back to 10 points (42-32) in the first 1:20 after halftime. From there, they got the lead up as high as 19 points (58-39) with 12:30 left in the game, then they held off Minnesota down the stretch to win by 8.
It was an impressive win, and it showed that Michigan does have the ability to win a big game on the road against a Top-10 opponent in a (very) hostile environment. Minnesota really wanted this one, and they played hard, but Michigan had the weapons to beat them.
The stats are pretty impressive as well, especially for a Big Ten road game. Michigan shot very well overall (28-for-51 = 54.9%), and they shot well from 3-point range (10-for-20 = 50.0%). They shot free throws well enough to win (17-for-25 = 68.0%), but they lost the rebounding battle (25-33). They did win the turnover battle (12-15), but 12 turnovers is a lot for this season’s Michigan team.
Individually, 3 players hit double figures:
- Trey Burke – 18 points (and 9 assists, just missing a double-double).
- Tim Hardaway Jr. – 21 points (on only 8 shots!).
- Nik Stauskas – 11 points. Back in the “double figures” club again, after missing it last game.
The other 2 starters almost hit double figures:
Coach Beilein played more bench players than usual for a close game. They had mixed success scoring:
- Spike Albrecht – 2 points.
- Max Bielfeldt – 0 points.
- Caris LeVert – 5 points.
- Mitch McGary – 8 points.
- Blake McLimans – 0 points.
- Matt Vogrich – 0 points.
Michigan got 15 points from the bench, which is a little better.
After only playing one game last week, Michigan has two games this week. On Thursday (01/24/2013, 7:00 p.m., ESPN), they play Purdue in Crisler Arena, then on Sunday (01/27/2013, 6:00 p.m. EST, BTN), they play at (#23) Illinois. These are both games that Michigan should win, but the Big Ten is very unpredictable this season, and a road game at Illinois is always tough.
Check back next week to see what happened, and why.