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Hoosiers clank their way to 69-45 loss to Michigan


Freshman forward Christian Watford goes for a loose ball during IU's 69-45 loss to Michigan Jan. 14 at the Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. Peter Stevenson Buy Photos

But Michigan did both of those Thursday night.

IU averages 72 points as a team, but it failed to break 50 in its 69-45 loss to the Wolverines.

No matter how rough it got for the host team, they were topped by IU. In a game IU coach Tom Crean prefaced with comments on better ball handling, Michigan scored 21 points on 19 IU turnovers.

“In our case, the last six and a half minutes is where we reverted back to our level of confidence,” Crean said. “We’re not clicking on all cylinders defensively, and we don’t have enough guys that can make plays individually.”

Michigan scored the last 15 consecutive points to end the game, not to mention a 21-4 run to close out the second half as IU’s offense broke down.

The Hoosiers played Michigan reasonably close in the first half, where they both weathered scoring droughts spanning more than four minutes. IU went five minutes without a score in the first half, but drowned when Michigan picked up its output.

Michigan guard Manny Harris scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half, only seven fewer than the entire IU offense.

“Manny Harris is a tremendous example for our team, for so many teams,” Crean said. “There is no doubt why he gets to the foul line. There is no doubt why he is such a good player – because there is no wasted motion.”

The Hoosiers trailed Michigan 27-21 after a first half full of mistakes and confusion.
IU seemed passive on many possessions and shot only 36 percent from the field, going 19-of-52 from the field. Michigan didn’t fare much better in the first half, as it saw a drought of 4:50 hinder its ability to pull away from the stagnant Hoosiers.

Michigan would go on to outscore the Hoosiers 42-24 in the last half of play, with Harris and Michigan forward DeShawn Sims leading all scorers.

“There were times tonight where we really played with excellent spirit and we battled in a very strong way,” he said. “But at the end of the day, two of the better players in the country, two of the very best players in this league, were too much for us to handle.”

Sims had 20 in the contest, while freshman forward Christian Watford was the only Hoosier in double digits. He scored 16 points, and the next highest total came from sophomore forward Verdell Jones with 7 points.

Sims and Harris totaled 41 points in the game, only four less than the Hoosier offense scored in the entire game.

But they were also, simply, more efficient.

Harris was 6-of-6 and shot 50 percent from the field, and Sims was 8-of-13 in the game and shot 80 percent from the free-throw line.

IU, on the other hand, shot 1-of-15 from the 3-point line and only completed 19-of-52 chances at the basket.

“We kind of came unglued at the end after playing a very, very strong game for so long,” Crean said. “We did get rattled at the end, and it was because of the abilities of Manny Harris and abilities of DeShawn Sims.”

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