Derrick Walton Jr. scored 25 points to lead Michigan to its first road victory of the season, a 75-63 decision over Indiana on Sunday afternoon at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind. It was Walton’s fifth straight game scoring at least 20 points.
Michigan had lost its first six true road games this season, including 0-4 in the Big Ten. It had won a pair of neutral site games in December against Marquette and SMU.
The win completes a season sweep of the Hoosiers for the first time since 1995. The Wolverines won the first game between the teams, 90-60, on Jan. 26 at Crisler Center. More importantly for Michigan, the win improves its record to 16-9 overall, 6-6 in the Big Ten. It was just the second win for Michigan at Assembly Hall in its last 19 visits. Indiana falls to 15-11 overall and 5-8 in the Big Ten.
Michigan scored the first five points of the game and led 35-25 at halftime. The Wolverines never trailed in the game, shooting 47.3 percent (26 of 55) from the field and forcing 15 Indiana turnovers that led to 20 points.
Junior forward D.J. Wilson added 13 points, while sophomore forward Moritz Wagner scored 11 and grabbed 10 rebounds. Wagner also won a sideline collision with Indiana head coach Tom Crean following a made 3-point shot in the first half.
Wagner hits 3, runs over Tom Crean. pic.twitter.com/YdwT35WGlv
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) February 12, 2017
Why it happened
The Wolverines played with poise throughout the game. They scored the first five points of the contest and never trailed. They failed to make a field goal for the final 3:25 of the first half and the opening 4:26 of the second half, but Indiana only trimmed one point off the halftime lead. Every time Indiana made a push in the second half, Michigan pushed back harder.
What it means
Michigan gets back to .500 in the Big Ten and adds an important road win to its NCAA Tournament resume.
While Walton is a given these days, Wagner and Wilson stepped up to back him up. They each scored in double figures and each hit baskets in the second half to help Michigan stymie Indiana runs.
Indiana’s 3-point shooting. The Hoosiers came into the game shooting 38.5 percent from behind the arc and averaging 8.8 made 3-pointers per game, but they hit just 3 of 15 on Sunday. James Blackmon Jr. was held to just six points on 2-of-7 shooting. He was 2 of 5 from 3-point range.
Who is next
Big Ten leader Wisconsin (21-3, 10-1) comes to the Crisler Center on Thursday. The Badgers won the first meeting, 68-64, in Madison, Wis., but Wolverines get another shot against a Top-10 team.
Just the second win for Michigan at Assembly Hall in last 19 visits… pic.twitter.com/DzclAkcYg7
— Kevin Goheen (@CincyGoGo) February 12, 2017