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Fouls and poor three-point shooting plague Michigan, losing a nail-biter to Indiana, 78-75

Michigan committed 21 personal fouls and turned the ball over 13 times in the loss to Indiana.

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jacob Singer Jake Singer is a junior at the University of Michigan majoring in Political Science. He is a Michigan Football and Basketball Writer for SB Nation's Maize and Brew

The Michigan Wolverines lost to the Indiana Hoosiers, 78-75, in their first Big Ten game of the season.

In a game where the Wolverines were favored by a few points, the teams looked evenly matched early, knotted at nine points at the under-16-minute timeout. Early on, Indiana center Ke’lel Ware looked to be a problem, scoring six quick points and forcing two turnovers in eight minutes. During the same span, Michigan went on a scoring drought for almost five minutes and Indiana took advantage, going on a 6-0 run. Finally, right before the media timeout, Will Tschetter broke the scoring drought, scoring a layup and getting fouled in the process, bringing the deficit to four.

After the under-12-minute timeout, the Wolverines got into a little groove, relying on Jaelin Llewellyn, Tschetter and Tray Jackson to put a run together of their own, taking a 24-21 lead. Indiana answered pretty quickly, however, retaking the lead and going up seven just two minutes later.

At the 6:51 mark, Ware, who had been cooking in the half, picked up his second foul and had to go to the bench. Without the Indiana big man, Tarris Reed Jr. forced a turnover and Terrance Williams II hit a walk-in three, retaking the lead for the Wolverines and adding to his game-leading total for the half with 10 points.

Arguably the biggest moment of the half came shortly thereafter when Nimari Burnett threw up an alley-oop to Reed over Gabe Cupps, which sparked an 8-0 run.

For the half, Indiana started 8-of-11 from the field but cooled off significantly, going 14-of-28 in the half. Michigan shot 13-of-29, but outrebounded Indiana, 16-14, and scored seven fast break points in the first half, a big increase from just the one fast break point it had against Oregon on Saturday.

The Wolverines went into halftime leading the Hoosiers, 39-37.

The second half got interesting, with both teams’ top scorers getting into a rhythm. Ware, who sat for most of the first half with foul trouble, got the scoring started with a quick basket for Indiana. For Michigan, Olivier Nkamhoua, who started the game 0-for-3 from the field and was relatively quiet in the first half, single-handily led the Wolverines offensively, scoring four straight baskets and bringing his point total to 14 to gave Michigan a 47-43 lead.

The Wolverines then cooled off (in other words, Nkamhoua stopped shooting), and the Hoosiers worked their way back to tie the game up at 49 with 12:08 left in the second half.

With both teams going cold once again, including Nkamhoua picking up his third foul and going to the bench, Tschetter broke the cold streak by scoring seven points. Dug McDaniel also finally got a basket as well, increasing Michigan’s lead to six with nine minutes left.

After an Indiana timeout, however, the Hoosiers came firing right back, going on a 7-0 run led by Malik Reneau and Mackenzie Mgbako, to take a one-point lead.

For the next three minutes, the referees started to heavily influence the game, calling fouls left and right, including a flagrant foul on Ranaeu and a blocking foul on Burnett that sent him to the bench with four fouls. The Wolverines made free throws and the Hoosiers forced turnovers, leading to a score of 66-66.

The teams continued to go back and forth, keeping the game tied 73-73 through the 1:14 mark.

After a timeout, Reed came back into the game for the first time in more than 10 minutes, but Indiana attacked him right away, going to Ware for the lead. Back the other way, McDaniel forced another Indiana foul (its 10th of the half), bringing the deficit within one point at the foul line with 30 seconds remaining.

Michigan thought it had a chance to win the game with six seconds left, forcing a missed shot, but a video replay showed the ball going out of bounds off Reed instead of Reneau, and the call on the floor was overturned.

Michigan was then forced to foul Mgbako, who made both free throws.

McDaniel was then fouled bringing the ball up the court, missed the first free throw and made the second. The Wolverines had to foul again, and while Trey Galloway made only one free throw, the inbound pass was deflected and they would fall to Indiana, 78-75.

Michigan shot just 47 percent from the field and 23 percent from three-point while turning the ball over 13 times and accounting for 21 total fouls. The Hoosiers shot 51.7 percent from the field, also had 13 turnovers and had 19 personal fouls.

The Wolverines will face the Iowa Hawkeyes on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. in Iowa City.