Zack Novak. Stu Douglass. Anthony Wright.
These three and a bunch of guys you probably don’t remember were the last group of Michigan basketball players to defeat Indiana at Assembly Hall. And even that game went into overtime.
That was all the way back in 2009, which happened to be John Beilien’s second seasno as head coach of the Wolverines and Tom Crean’s first season as the Hoosiers’ head coach. Not even the likes of Trey Burke, Nik Stauskas, GR3 and Mitch McGary ever got a win at Indiana.
Eight years without a win at a common Big 10 opponent’s home court.
That is, until today.
Riding a huge 29-point victory against Michigan State earlier this week, the Wolverines went into Bloomington, Indiana with about as much confidence as they’ve had all season.
Even though it was close throughout, Indiana never led at any point in this game, as the Wolverines routed the Hoosiers 75-63 for their first in at Assembly Hall since the 2008-09 season. It was also Michigan’s first true road win all season.
Derrick Walton has been the perennial leader all year, and it continued Sunday. His stat line: 25 points (9-9 from free-throws), 5 rebounds and 4 assists. His dominant defensive rebounding and play-making has helped this team tremendously throughout the latter half of the season.
It wasn’t long into the second half that the Wolverines had a double-digit lead and subbed out Walton for Xavier Simpson. The Hoosiers did about all they could do, but it still wasn’t enough to win a game they desperately needed.
As for offensive rebounding, Mo Wagner was incredible on the glass today. He nabbed his first double-double in his young career, having 11 points and 10 boards, with three of those rebounds being on the offensive side.
DJ Wilson also had a nice game with 13 points, 3 steals and 3 blocks.
As for Indiana, it couldn’t be getting any worse. The Hoosiers now sit at 15-11 and 5-8 in conference play. They’ve also lost three straight games and five of their last six. They have two road games coming up against Minnesota and Iowa, and they haven’t had a road win in nearly a month. Their postseason future is looking more bleak with every game that passes by.
Michigan will return home on Thursday to face another similar foe — the Wisconsin Badgers, a team they played tough, but lost to, on the road just a couple weeks ago.