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February 2, 2014

U-M offense stalls in Bloomington

It was bound to happen eventually, because even the best offensive teams have those days where the shots just aren't falling.

After a string of 10 consecutive wins, including the first eight Big Ten games of the season, turned 2013-14 from a slight concern into a potential conference-championship season, the Wolverines finally let one slip away Sunday afternoon, falling to Indiana, 63-52, in Bloomington.

--Box Score: Indiana 63, Michigan 52--

A major reason for Michigan's great start in Big Ten play was offensive efficiency.

No one in the conference has shot the ball anywhere near as well as the Wolverines have in conference play - until Sunday afternoon.

Here's a breakdown of the Wolverines field goal numbers in Big Ten play, with field goals first, followed by three-point field goals:

  • Minnesota, Jan. 2: 20-of-44 (45.5 percent), 7-of-17 (41.2 percent)

  • Northwestern, Jan. 5: 25-of-48 (52.1 percent), 6-of-18 (33.3 percent)

  • Nebraska, Jan. 9: 31-of-50 (62.0 percent), 6-of-17 (35.3 percent)

  • Penn State, Jan. 14: 28-of-52 (53.8 percent), 9-of-24 (37.5 percent)

  • Wisconsin, Jan, 18: 29-of-53 (54.7 percent), 7-of-14 (53.8 percent)

  • Iowa, Jan. 22: 22-of-58 (46.6 percent), 8-of-27 (29.6 percent)

  • Michigan State, Jan. 25: 22-of-49 (44.9 percent), 11-of-19 (57.9 percent)

  • Purdue, Jan. 30: 28-of-46 (60.9 percent), 7-of-13 (53.8 percent)

  • Indiana, Feb. 2: 18-of-45 (40.0 percent), 3-of-13 (23.1 percent).

    Michigan shot a full 4.9 percent lower against Indiana than its worst shooting performance in its first eight conference games.

    The numbers were even worse from three-point range. In their first eight games of the conference season, the Wolverines hit better than 50.0 percent of their three-point attempts thrice. Before Sunday, they had shot worse than 30.0 percent just once - and barely (29.6 percent vs. Iowa).

    Against the Hoosiers, Michigan sank just 3-of-13 attempts from downtown.


    "They had matchups a little different, and they were switching a lot of screens, kind of forcing us to take tough shots," fifth-year senior forward Jordan Morgan said. "Some of those are shots we hit every day, some of them weren't. They just didn't fall for us today.

    "They had a smaller guy guarding me, so they could switch off screens on me. They put a big guy on Glenn. That was a little different. We had to kind of change the offense and get some different screens going.

    "It was a little frustrating for some guys. A lot of those were shots we make regularly every day in practice and in most of our games. It was tough. It's a tough environment. We just have to keep moving."

    Indiana point guard Yogi Ferrell face-guarded and bottled up sophomore guard Nik Stauskas, who entered the game averaging 18.4 points per game, better than anyone since Duke held him to four points in December.

    Stauskas struggled to even get his hands on the ball, managing to find just six shot attempts all game.

    With Ferrell in his face all night, Stauskas hit just one of those attempts - and went 0-of-2 from three-point range, to finish with six points.

    "It's tough, though, when they're banking on not letting him get shots and making everyone else score," Morgan said.

    "Like J-Mo said, they had a great gameplan," added sophomore guard Caris LeVert, who finished 5-of-13 from the field with 12 points. "Yogi hit some tough shots, too. We'll bounce back from this one.

    "They were denying Nik a little bit in the corner. It was easier to run the offense through me and [freshman point guard Derrick Walton]."


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