Michigan countered Indiana's small lineup early with Jordan Morgan inside, and he stepped up by dominating inside early in an 84-80 win over Indiana, scoring the Wolverines'' first six points and grabbing two offensive rebounds. IU, though, started strong offensively and made a game of it early, kept it close throughout.
The Hoosiers had struggled to score this year, but they were at their best in the first four minutes and were strong throughout. They hit two triples and took a 12-9 lead into the break. Sophomore Nik Stauskas hit one of his two, three-point baskets, but Wolverine killer Yogi Ferrell hit a bomb for IU to keep Indiana a step ahead.
It was 14-10 when U-M failed to defend Ferrell for a drive down the lane, and it appeared the Hoosiers were going to give Michigan a game yet again. They scored the next four to expand the lead to 18-10 before big man Jon Horford scored on a putback, then the next four to push the lead to 22-12 and force a Michigan timeout at 12:41.
Robinson III worked inside on a pass from Albrecht to cut it to eight, then found Zak Irvin for a triple that made it a five-point game at 11:50. Robinson answered a Noah Vonleh fall-away with a jumper to keep it five, 24-19 at the second TV timeout. The Hoosiers were 10-for-11 from the floor at that point. They made it 11-for-12 on a Sheehey bucket on the next inbounds play.
Stauskas missed a lay-up by Morgan, back in for Horford, put it back to cut the lead back to five. Stauskas missed triple that would have cut it to two, and the Hoosiers continued their deliberate pace. They expanded the lead back to eight on a Sheehey triple at 7:00. U-M had a tough time staying in front of Ferrell, though, who beat Michgian off the dribble repeatedly.
Michigan went 1-3-1 at about five minutes, and it paid off with a turnover and a Caris LeVert finish in transition. Albrecht continued U-M's stretch of failing to hit the big shot, though, missing a wide-open triple that would have cut it to two. That left it 32-27 Hoosiers at the last TV timeout of the half, 3:56.
LeVert had a triple erased on a bogus shot clock reset, but he hit another one on the ensuing possession. Beilein picked up a technical foul protesting a non-charge call, and it turned into a huge swing for the Hoosiers - a 7-0 run when Ferrell hit both free throws and IU scored then next five. Morgan missed the front end of a one-and-one in between.
The Wolverines score the next four on two Robinson free throws and a drive and finish from Stauskas that made it 39-34 at :42.5. It ended 42-36 after a Robinson III tip-in just before the buzzer.
Michigan shot 46.9 percent to IU's 59.3. Seven offensive rebounds helped U-M's caused. Morgan had three, along with eight points and six rebounds, while LeVert, Robinson III and and Stauskas added seven each.
Stauskas started the second half with a drive and finish, and Morgan's outlet pass to Robinson III led to a pair of Robinson free throws in transition. That cut it to two, but Devin Davis responded inside for the Hoosiers to push the lead back to four.
IU got all six of its points inside, but U-M responded by attacking the rim, as well. Stauskas scored two more to cut it to 48-46 before Robinson III tied it inside at 16:32 on a strong cut and finish, finally bringing the crowd into the game.
Robinson III's jumper gave Michigan its first lead since 9-7, 50-48, at 15:40.
Stauskas' three free throws answered a Sheehey backdoor bucket, making it 53-50 at 15:11. Robinson extended it to five with a strong drive and finish. Michigan went back to the 1-3-1 and IU got to the rim twice but couldn't finish - the Hoosiers also turned it over once, but came up with a 50-50 ball after a Stauskas miss to cut it to two on a three-point play in transition from Stanford Robinson.
Four straight from the Michigan bigs pushed the lead to a game-high six with Robinson and Walton on the bench. It was back to one a minute later after a Ferrell triple in transition in which nobody picked him up.
Morgan's three-point play on the other end on a no-look pass from Walton, following a turnover up top against the 1-3-1, made it a four-point game, and LeVert made it six with a steal and finish playing up top in the zone on the next possession, forcing an IU timeout. The Hoosiers turned it over a third straight time, and Stauskas made one free thros following a drive to make them pay, pushing the lead to seven, 65-58, at 7:35.
When Morgan rebounded the second free throw, LeVert cashed in on two more when fouled up top to push the lead to 67-58 at 7:12.
IU stayed within shouting range with solid free throw shooting. Michigan kept the heat on, though, by matching them at the other end. It remained a nine-point game at 5:16 when Stauskas hit two free throws, and LeVert picked up yet another steal up top in the 1-3-1 to give the Wolverines the ball back.
Indiana wasn't through yet. Ferrell hit a triple from the top to cut it to 73-67, and it was a four-point game at 3:36 when Robinson made two free throws, setting up another fight to the finish between the two teams.
It was a two-point game at 2:32 on a putback by Devin Davis following a missed finish by Robinson III. Robinson III followed with two free throws to push the lead back to four, and U-M came back out in the 1-3-1. An offensive outback by IU and a transition bucket tied it at 75 with 1:25 remaining.
Robinson III, however, made the shot of the game at 1:07 with an uncontested triple from the corner. IU's Robinson missed a triple out of the 1-3-1 and Walton Jr. was fouled by Ferrell, making both free throws to make it 80-75 at 41.3. Albrecht followed two Hoosiers free throws with two of his own at :20.9 to push it back to five, but it still wasn't over. A Noah Vonleh triple following an offensive rebound made it 82-80 with 4.2 seconds remaining.
Stauskas, though, made two free throws with 3.5 seconds remaining to clinch it.
Stauskas scored 21, Robinson 20, Morgan 15 and LeVert 13 for U-M, which finished 15-3 in conference play.