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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, January 26, 2017 7:12 pm

Halftime thoughts: Michigan 50, Indiana 35

Chris Goff | The Journal Gazette

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Some quick hits from the Crisler Center at intermission:

1. Damned if you do: After Michigan scored 45 points on their first 26 possessions, an utterly absurd offensive explosion, Indiana coach Tom Crean lined up his defense in a zone for the 27th possession, and that slowed the Wolverines down a tad, but they still ended up with 50 at the break, a point total more remiscient of an NBA halftime. The Hoosiers have had far too many miscommunications and defensive breakdowns that have resulted in clean looks and easy opportunities at the basket for Michigan. But even when they've challenged shots, Michigan has drained them. The home team has shot 20 for 30 from the field, including 7 of 11 from 3-point range.

2. Matchup issues: Juwan Morgan has returned after a two-game absence, and his injured left foot appears to be fine, but even in the seven minutes Morgan has seen the court Indiana has not been able to match up with Michigan's big men. Moe Wagner and D.J. Wilson are 6-foot-11 and 6-10, respectively, and the Hoosiers lack anyone with the combination of height and quickness to guard them effectively. Both Wagner and Wilson space the floor and put the ball on the deck. Wagner has 12 points and Wilson six. You can really see how much the Hoosiers miss OG Anunoby and Collin Hartman, in particular, for a game like this.

3. Bryant a focal point: Before falling behind by 19, Indiana came out with the intention to feed center Thomas Bryant on the right block. The perimeter players, however, have had a hard time feeding the ball around fronting defenders. Multiple attempts to pass to Bryant have been deflected or kicked by Michigan defenders. Bryant has nine points, but he hit a 3 and scored on an inbounds play for five of those nine. Indiana committed eight turnovers in 31 first-half possessions and did not take a free throw in the first half.