Published: Mon, January 22, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

No. 23 MI hosts Rutgers after setback

No. 23 MI hosts Rutgers after setback

Robinson came in shooting only 36 percent from 3-point range on the season after finishing over 40 percent in his first two seasons with the Wolverines. They turned the ball over six times to add to their shooting funk.

Rutgers instead largely kept the same shape throughout, with Sanders and Freeman working the offense and the others creating space for the facilitators. The Scarlet Knights had just one assist Sunday. But with less than ten minutes to go in the game, the Wolverines gave themselves a little more breathing room to pull out a comfortable 62-47 win.

Michigan (16-5, 5-3), which had won nine of its last 10, suffered its most lopsided defeat since losing by 24 points at SMU in December 2015 and its worst against a Big Ten opponent since a 23-point loss to Michigan State in February 2013. Nati Harnik, AP Michigan's Moritz Wagner is fouled by Nebraska's Glynn Watson Jr., right rear, as Isaiah Roby (15) guards during the first half in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.

The Huskers played strong defense on the perimeter and forced nine of Michigan's 12 turnovers the first 20 minutes. They struggled to find their offense again, a trend they can not continue if they hope to compete at the top of the conference and play themselves deep into March.

That perimeter defense will surely be tested against a MI team that spreads the floor with shooters and is averaging 9.3 made shots from 3-point range. "When we're locked in like that, offensively and defensively, we have a chance to be a good team".

Duncan Robinson, naturally, doesn't like coming off the bench.

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The scoring picked up - relatively speaking - and MI led 27-21 at half. "It's unexplainable. I don't know what we were doing a few times".

"That's a thing we're going to see again from many teams", Beilein said of the switches. He doesn't want him asking for permission in regards to getting shots. Today he came in shooting and that was why he was the spark in the game.

MI coach John Beilein had plans to work on the plane ride back to Ann Arbor after the latest setback.

"It's good to check that box", Nebraska coach Tim Miles said. Those are two areas of concern for MI, which predicates its defense on limiting second-chance points and forcing turnovers that lead to transition offense. Sophomore guard Charles Matthews had 15 points but was the only player for the Wolverines to reach double figures in scoring. He also recorded five rebounds and four assists. After committing 6 turnovers as a team in the first half, the Wolverines limited the damage to just 3 more after the break.

Coach Beilein pointed to the schedule as the reason for their slow starts.

"We take pride in it", he said. "He feels pressure to please people and to do well, and I think it was one of those moments when you get a tipping point and the pressure explodes, and I'm glad we got it ironed out". The game can also be heard on Sirius 81, XM 81 and Internet 81. "That's going to be huge for us".

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