After Indiana dealt Michigan its first Big Ten loss Sunday, the Wolverines were looking to bounce back and prevent a losing streak, many other conference teams have done this season. It didn’t take very long before coach John Beilein got to relax on his 61st birthday and not worry about the outcome, as Michigan didn’t seem to have any negative carryover from the loss. No. 10 Michigan needed about eight minutes to pull away from Nebraska, en route to a 79-50 rout Wednesday night at Crisler Center. Glenn Robinson III tied his career high with 23 points, Caris LeVert added 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Zak Irvin had 16 points. Michigan (17-5, 9-1 Big Ten) has had only one losing streak — each was two games — in each of the past two seasons. The Wolverines didn’t show any rust early, hitting five of their first six field goals and jumping out to a double-digit lead in the first 10 minutes; the margin extended to a 41-point bulge midway through the second half. They also held Nebraska (11-10, 3-5) to a season-low 50 points. “I’m pleased the way we came in with incredible focus on defense. Nebraska is scoring points in all different ways with five guys out there that can get 20 on you,” Beilein said. “We came in so focused and they didn’t get many good looks.” Nik Stauskas had nine points, five rebounds and eight assists and held the Huskers’ leading scorer, Terran Petteway to five points, 13 below his average. Stauskas said the team was ready to have a better showing after the disappointing loss at Indiana. After film study helped to highlight some areas of improvement, many of the shortcomings were cleared up. “When you lose, there are going to be more mistakes and things you can improve upon,” said Stauskas, who finished with six points against the Hoosiers. “That film, it was a lot of little things that can be changed really easily. We saw them, we moved on and we learned.” That turnaround helped them with a 49-point first half, one of their top outputs of the season. “It was wonderful to see us respond from the loss at Indiana with such good defense. That allows you to run, to have so many good offensive opportunities,” Beilein said. “It was all about that first-half defense. We played 35 minutes of really good defense.” The Wolverines opened with an 8-0 run in the first two minutes, with a pair of 3-pointers by LeVert. But Nebraska closed the gap to 16-12 with seven straight points from Shavon Shields (13 points). U-M scored the next 12 points, with five points each from Robinson and Irvin, and added a 15-0 spurt — the two runs combining for a 29-3 stretch — to push the lead to 45-15. With the lopsided score, Nebraska coach Tim Miles was able to make light of the special occasion for Beilein. “When guys get to be 61 years old, you’re worried about their heart, so I just wanted to make sure there were no issues,” Miles joked. “I’d hate to ruin a guy’s birthday,” Irvin highlighted the spurt with three straight 3-pointers, the last of which was short but took a favorable bounce and rolled in. The Wolverines were in control the rest of the way, with Robinson hitting two free throws with 1.5 seconds left, for a 49-21 lead at halftime. Michigan shot 63 percent (15-of-24) in the first half, including 9-of-17 on 3-pointers and held the Huskers to 32 percent in the first 20 minutes.
For John Beilein's birthday, Michigan wraps up a rout of Nebraska
Detroit News | Feb 6