Michigan overcomes shooting for 16-0 start
by Mark Snyder, USA TODAY Sports
This wasn’t how they imagined tying a record, but the Michigan basketball team got there nonetheless.
Though the Wolverines are ranked No. 2 in the nation and have won all their games comfortably, they had to sweat it out to hold off Nebraska, 62-47, at Crisler Center tonight to match the program’s best start at 16-0, tying the 1985-86 team’s mark.
The lead got to 11 with fewer than five minutes remaining, but Michigan was never secure as the Wolverines (16-0, 3-0 Big Ten) put up their lowest scoring total of the season, needing free throws in the final minutes to seal it.
U-M still put four players in double figures, led by Trey Burke’s 18 points, as the game’s final margin was the largest.
Michigan tried to pull away in the second half, but Nebraska wouldn’t allow it. Even with Nik Stauskas hitting a few three-pointers, the lead didn’t reach double digits until 4:39 remained in the game.
The biggest challenge was trying to handle Nebraska’s Ray Gallegos, who had 19 points.
It was a problem from the start. The Wolverines spent the first half wondering when the offensive juggernaut would arrive because the players wearing their jerseys looked a lot different, staggering to a 25-20 halftime lead, their lowest total of the season.
They entered the game shooting 52% from the field, but hit only 32% in the first half. They entered shooting 42% from three-point range, but hit only 1-of-10 before the break.
It was their worst nightmare – except they were still playing Nebraska (9-7, 0-3) and had the lead.
Mark Snyder writes for the Detroit Free Press, a Gannett property. Follow him on Twitter @mark__snyder.