For the second consecutive game, Michigan struggled out of the gate against an overmatched opponent. This time it took the Wolverines longer to recover in a 62-47 win over Nebraska.
U-M still led 25-20 at halftime thanks in large part to the opponent. The Wolverines shot only 32.3 percent from the floor, making only one of four triples. The two teams traded baskets - and misses - for the first nine minutes, U-M settling for jump shots after freshman Nik Stauskas drove on the first possession and was fouled, opening the scoring with a free throw.
Only freshman Glenn Robinson III, working mostly inside, had a somewhat hot hand for U-M, going 3-for-4 for eight points with three rebounds. Sophomore Trey Burke hit the Wolverines' only triple, and there were a number of plays, including a shot blocked by the bottom of the rim, an airball from the corner, a missed dunk, even a shot clock violation.
Nebraska was Michigan's saving grace. The Cornhuskers shot 2-for-10 from long range, 32 percent from the floor in the first half. Burke scored seven on 3-for-9 shooting, Tim Hardaway Jr. six (3-for-8) and Stauskas four (0-for-3).
U-M's offense was stagnant, as was the transition game. The Wolverines managed only two assists in the first half and didn't have a point on the break.
Burke opened the scoring with a driving finish through a foul, finishing the three-point play, but the 'Huskers answered with a long triple - and another after two Burke free throws. Michigan continued to struggle offensively, and Burke (and others) openly showed their frustration at times.
Stauskas hit a triple from the corner, followed with a steal that started the break to Hardaway, and it appeared U-M had some breathing room at 36-28. They game remained in doubt, however, until Hardaway hit a stepback jumper with 1:11 remaining, in part because the Wolverines never four their rhythm offensively. They were in the bonus with 14 minutes to go in the half, but they were cold from the line, too. Stauskas missed his second free throw and Jordan Morgan the front end of a one-and-one, Robinson the second of two to let Nebraska hang around.
Stauskas hit another triple to make it 43-34 at 11:25, but Robinson then missed the front end of a one and one to keep it closer than it should have been. Nebraska added a three from Ray Gallegos to pull back within six. Gallegos got too many good looks and knocked most of them down in the second half, scoring 13 straight for the 'Huskers in one stretch.
U-M finally made some free throws down the stretch to cap the scoring.
Burke led U-M with 18 points. Hardaway notched 15 and 11 rebounds, Robinson 14 and six, Stauskas 13 and four and Morgan 11 rebounds for the Wolverines, who shot 3-for-17 from three-point range and 17-for-26 from the line.