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Michigan cruises past Indiana in Big Ten opener

December 2, 2017

Ann Arbor — Michigan delivered a stunning blow in the first half to put Indiana on its heels.

The Hoosiers recovered and responded with a pair of second-half punches.

The Wolverines took the shots on the chin and were able to find an answer each time to pull away for a 69-55 win over Indiana in the Big Ten opener at Crisler Center. It marked the fourth straight win for Michigan over Indiana.

Freshman Jordan Poole had a coming-out party with a career-high 19 points for Michigan (7-2, 1-0). Moritz Wagner added 13 points and seven rebounds, and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had eight points and 11 rebounds for the Wolverines.

BOX SCORE: Michigan 69, Indiana 55

Juwan Morgan had 24 points but didn’t get much help for Indiana (4-4, 0-1), which trailed the entire game.

After Michigan got off to a fast start and led by double digits most of the first half, Indiana turned the tables and used a 12-1 flurry that was capped by a Josh Newkirk 3-pointer and Morgan three-point play to trim the deficit to 39-34 at the 14:51 mark.

But the Wolverines countered with a momentum-shifting 8-0 run to pull ahead, 47-34, with 13:35 remaining. Duncan Robinson started the spurt with a 3-pointer, Jon Teske hit a hook shot in the paint and Eli Brooks buried another 3-pointer.

Indiana came back with another push and used a 7-2 spurt to cut it to single digits, 54-45, less than six minutes later. Once again, Michigan fended it off and regained control with seven straight points on a Wagner mid-range jumper, a Poole 3-pointer and two Abdur-Rahkman free throws to make it 61-45 with 5:47 to play.

The Hoosiers never seriously threatened again as Teske made two free throws, Wagner threw down a one-handed dunk and Charles Matthews provided the finishing touches with a 3-pointer down the stretch.

Michigan used a 3-point barrage to jump all over Indiana early. Poole and Robinson drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to open the scoring thanks to Abdur-Rahkman. Abdur-Rahkman drove to the rim and collapsed the defense to free up Robinson then made an extra pass that led to an open look for Poole.

Abdur-Rahkman followed with a 3-pointer from the wing to start a string of 10 straight points for Michigan. Poole knocked down another deep ball from the corner, Wagner knocked down a shot inside the 3-point line and Isaiah Livers turned a turnover in a fast-break layup to give Michigan a 16-2 lead with 12:50 left in the first half.

Indiana couldn’t get anything going on offense and didn’t make its first basket until the 12:28 mark on a Morgan shot to snap Michigan’s run. The Hoosiers opened 0-for-7 from the field with five turnovers.

Morgan followed with back-to-back baskets to cut Michigan’s lead to 10 but Wagner answered with a reverse layup, Livers scored on a layup, Poole made a jumper and Brooks hit a fadeaway jumper to pull back ahead 26-10 with 7:47 left in the half.

Indiana scored five straight to whittle the deficit back down to 10 in the final minute but Abdur-Rahkman hit a 3-pointer with 37 seconds left to give Michigan a 34-21 advantage at halftime.

jhawkins@detroitnews.com

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