ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The No. 2 Michigan Wolverines (15-0; 4-0 Big Ten) hosted the No. 21 Indiana Hoosiers (12-3; 3-1 Big Ten) on Sunday as both teams continued Big Ten action.
Michigan followed up an impressive victory over Penn State with another win against Indiana to remain undefeated. Indiana competed without their starting point guard, Rob Phinisee, and the Wolverines were without their 6th man, Isaiah Livers. Here are some takeaways from Michigan’s 74-63 triumph over the Hoosiers.
Charles Matthews Steps Up
Matthews came into this game averaging 13.9 points. However, in the first half alone, he dropped 16-points. He started the match shooting 5-of-5 from the hardwood and gave the Wolverines a much-needed spark to build momentum.
Additionally, Matthews showcased his basketball abilities at the highest level. He hit a couple of three-pointers, knocked down mid-range jumpers, and attacked the lane. A highlight play was when he leaped in the air for an offensive rebound, snatched the ball, regained composure, and dunked the basketball.
He was active on defense and read the mind of his opponents. This awareness led to multiple fastbreaks buckets which included a slam dunk that energized the home crowd.
This performance was vital for Matthews to show NBA scouts that he deserves a chance to hoop at a professional level. He finished the contest with 18-points, six rebounds, and four steals.
Zavier Simpson’s All-Around Play
At halftime, the score was 44-29, with the Wolverines on top. When Indiana began cutting into the lead to make it single-digits, Zavier Simpson took control and kept Michigan afloat.
His signature bucket was the hook shot, which he was 3-of-3 from the floor when attempting it. Although he only stands at 5’11”, the hook shot enabled him to score over taller defenders such as 6’8” Juwan Morgan.
On the defensive side, he did not have any steals or blocks, but his perimeter defense made it difficult for the Hoosiers to score three-pointers and find the passing lanes.
One of the ways that the Hoosiers planned on beating the Wolverines was through scoring points off turnovers.
In theory, these turnovers are supposed to lead to easy fastbreak scoring opportunities and not allow the Michigan defense to set up.
However, this strategy did not go as expected because Michigan only had three turnovers, which is the Wolverines lowest this season.
The Wolverines played an impressive game. They created a significant first-half lead that carried them for the rest of the match by forcing Indiana’s two stars, Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford into early foul trouble. As a result, Michigan was able to score with ease and use its highly rated defense to prevent any other Hoosier from having an offensive breakout.
All in all, Michigan has now won 15 straight games this season, which is the 3rd time this has ever happened in the illustrious history of the University of Michigan.
On January 10th, Michigan faces Illinois on the road while Indiana will take on Maryland in College Park on January 11th.
Lastly, Michigan and Indiana will rematch on January 25th, but next time, the game will take place in Bloomington.