Fantasy Football 2014:

Michigan stays unbeaten despite slow pace

The SportsXchange

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Michigan, a high-scoring offensive machine that was averaging 82 points per game this season, got dragged out of its comfort zone by a methodical and determined Nebraska team Wednesday night.

The No. 2-ranked Wolverines survived the downshift in tempo and eventually prevailed 62-47 for a third straight Big Ten win.

The victory moved Michigan to 16-0, equaling the best start in school history, and head coach John Beilein credited the Cornhuskers with making things difficult for his team, which had scored more than 90 points in each of its first two conference games.

"They did a great job of minimizing their turnovers and maximizing the shot clock every time," Beilein said. "We'll learn from it a lot, because as we get into this league, we know things will be a lot tighter."

Michigan led by just five points with seven minutes left in the game before finally opening up some breathing room. A pair of free throws from Tim Hardaway Jr. gave Michigan a 53-42 advantage with just under five minutes left, the first double-digit lead of the night for the Wolverines.

The Wolverines held Nebraska to just 19-of-56 shooting from the field (33.9 percent) and to 6-of-26 from behind the arc (23.1 percent). Michigan went 21-of-54 from the field (38.9 percent) and was just 3-of-17 from 3-point range (17.6 percent).

"We had to play great defense and we did, and that was our only salvation tonight," Beilein said. "You're just going to have nights like that where the ball doesn't fall."

Point guard Trey Burke led Michigan (3-0 Big Ten) with 18 points, while Glenn Robinson III had 14, and Hardaway had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Nik Stauskas added 13 for the Wolverines.

Nebraska (9-7, 0-3) was led by Ray Gallegos with 19 points and Dylan Talley with 12. Cornhuskers head coach Tim Miles said his team missed out on an opportunity.

"We played a really good team, and I thought our kids got more confident as the game goes on," Miles said. "I thought we were right there, even late in the game."

After leading just 25-20 at the half, Michigan pushed the advantage to 39-30 about five minutes into the second half as Burke scored on a drive and then drilled a jump shot.

The 3-point shooting of Gallegos kept the Huskers close, and it was a triple from Gallegos that made it a 47-42 game with about seven minutes left.

"We were in a position to be competitive," Miles said.

Michigan made the lead nine points on a Mitch McGary basket with 5:33 left, and after a miss by the Cornhuskers, Hardaway went to the line and gave his team that 11-point margin. The Wolverines hit their free throws to stretch out the lead over the final moments.

Michigan got off to a sluggish start against the Cornhuskers, and led just 7-6 about six minutes into the game.

"We've been very fortunate to this point in the season where we'd get on runs, but Nebraska guarded us very well and they shortened the game beautifully," Beilein said.

Nebraska found the grinding pace in the early stages of the game to its liking and stayed with the Wolverines, moving in front 12-11 on a jump hook by Brandon Ubel with eight minutes gone in the opening half. Michigan struggled with the tempo, and forced a few hurried shots after long Nebraska possessions.

"I think they kind of slowed the game up a little bit, but we should have taken better shots," Robinson said.

A three-pointer from the top of the key by Burke with 8:30 left in the half allowed Michigan to open up an 18-12 advantage with a seven-point run, but Nebraska kept answering, and 3-pointers from Gallegos and Talley kept it close.

The Cornhuskers trailed just 25-20 at the break, but Miles said his team won't take much solace from pushing the Wolverines.

"They don't want to define themselves this way," Miles said. "They want to dust themselves off and get up and keep working. We just need to generate more offense."

Notes: Michigan remains one of just four unbeaten teams in the country, joining Duke, Wyoming and Arizona. . .While Nebraska has struggled offensively this season, averaging just 59.1 points, the Huskers have been sound on defense, holding eight of their opponents to 60 points or less . . . The Wolverines had outscored their opponents by an average of 22.5 points per game before facing Nebraska. . .Michigan had just four turnovers against the Cornhuskers, who made just five. . . Michigan leads the nation in fewest fouls per game with just 11.9.

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League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Aug 27 9:00 am
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