Though their numbers didn't stand out, Michigan forwards Jordan
Morgan and Jon Horford combined for 15 points and 16 rebounds in a
total of 38 minutes provided a spark to overcome a slow start.
"They're veteran guys," said Northwestern first-year coach Chris
Collins. "They know what they're supposed to do. They kind of have a
two-headed monster now at that spot."
Added Michigan coach John Beilein: "We're finding ways to make up
for the injury to Mitch. They just are now are getting back to a
rhythm where they are not looking over their shoulder."
Sophomore forward Nik Stauskas led all scorers with 18 points,
including a 5-for-10 performance from the field while sophomore
forward Glenn Robinson III chipped in 12 points on 6-for-12 shooting
to lead Michigan (10-4, 2-0 Big Ten) to its second Big Ten win in as
The Wolverines' lead was as large as 26 after redshirt sophomore Max
Bielfeldt, in just his first minutes of the game, knocked down a
3-pointer with less than two minutes left in the game.
Forward Drew Crawford led Northwestern with 17 points, including 13
in the first half. Crawford cooled off in the second half, hitting
just one more shot on 6-for-14 shooting from the field.
"I thought he got tired," Collins said. "They did a good job
defensively and rotated some guys on him. I thought more than
anything, Drew got a little tired. You have to score every basket,
to have to guard Stauskas and you have to rebound."
Morgan, who averages 3.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, tied his
season high with eight points and eight rebounds. Following McGary's
announcement to have back surgery, a lingering injury according to
the sophomore, Morgan and Horford have both seen increased minutes.
"I think more than anything, our team has to start getting more
comfortable with us and looking to us more often," Morgan said. "But
we're just trying to bring energy and intensity — trying to do our
best to control the glass."
The play of Morgan and Horford down low lessened the blow brought by
a 1-for-8 3-point shooting performance in the first half.
Ultimately, the Wolverines finished with 6-for-18 shooting from
behind the arc, including two from Stauskas in the second half.
The Wildcats (7-8, 0-2) were able to force tough shots and shut down
a lengthy and fast offense in the first half, forcing Michigan's big
men to step up. But a 10-9 lead with 10:56 left in the first half
was the last time the Wildcats would stay on top.
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But without much help offensively, Crawford and
Northwestern's offense failed to overcome a 12-4 run in the
second half that pushed the Wolverines' lead even further. It
was the fourth straight game for the Wildcats without more than
"What happens with us is that we've had such a hard time scoring
over the course of time it really affects the other areas of the
game," Collins said. "We're going to need some guys to step up
and help out offensively."
Crawford, the Wildcats' leading scorer, had only one other
teammate finish in double digits for a team that averages a Big
Ten low in scoring, with 65.4 entering Sunday's contest. Of the
Wildcats' 24 first-half shots, Crawford took more than a third
of all attempts with nine.
When Robinson slammed home an alley-oop pass from freshman
forward Zak Irvin midway through the second half to extend the
12-4 run in the second half, it effectively swung momentum back
in the Wolverines favor.
It took nearly nine minutes for either team to reach double
digits in scoring, but not long after for the game to heat up as
Michigan outscored the Wildcats 20-12 in the last 10 minutes of
the first half. The Wolverines led 31-24 at halftime.
Sophomore forward Nik Stauskas sparked a 10-2 run for the
Wolverines midway through the first half, nailing a turnaround
jump shot just outside of the key before slamming home a
behind-the-back pass from guard Spike Albrecht.
"At this point we've been the team where we take a punch and
respond," Stauskas said. "We need to be the team that throws the
first punch and steps on their throat from there."
NOTES: Michigan F Glenn Robinson III started Sunday's game after
he missed most of the second half when he injured his ankle
against Minnesota on Thursday. Michigan coach John Beilein had
said Robinson would be day-to-day earlier in the week. "He'll be
in rehab for the rest of his life, though," Beilein said. ...
With the loss, Northwestern has now lost the past six straight
contests against Michigan, who now leads the series 108-56. The
two teams will not meet again this year. ... After he scored 23
points in a 76-49 loss to Wisconsin, Northwestern 7-foot C Alex
Olah fell had just 12 points on Sunday. ... Despite a winter
storm watch and below-freezing temperatures, the Michigan
athletic department said it sold out all 12,707 tickets at the
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