The machines in Assembly Hall are self-aware.
The clocks stopped working seven seconds into Michigan’s Friday night road trip to Indiana. It’s as if those clocks knew to delay the inevitable.
The Wolverines jumped to a 20-2 start, eventually holding off the Hoosiers 69-46 — just the third victory in Bloomington for John Beilein since 2007-08.
Michigan’s No. 3 efficiency defense locked down Indiana to just 18 points in the first 20 minutes. This is the lowest allowed since ceding 17 against Villanova in the third game of the year.
Ignas Brazdeikis responded from a few off nights from the field, tallying 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting.
After the clock officials sorted things out, the fifth-ranked Wolverines went to work. Zavier Simpson slashed into the lane for two layups, while Brazdeikis and Jordan Poole splashed a triple each for a 12-0 lead in the opening minutes.
Archie Miller’s Hoosiers wouldn’t score until Aljami Durham’s free throws at the 12:57 mark. Until the final two minutes of the first half, Brazdeikis had as many points (12) as Indiana.
Despite the defensive dominance, the offense sometimes resembled its inconsistent self from the last few games. Two scoring droughts — one four minutes long — in the first frame allowed Indiana to stay within 15 at the break.
One thing holding Indiana back? Romeo Langford sat for all but seven minutes in the first half. When he returned in the second, he immediately sparked an 8-3 run to cut the margin to single-digits.
Brazdeikis drained a pair of threes to push the lead back to 41-29 by the media timeout. Soon after, the lead grew back to 17. This tweet put it best:
After surviving an initial 17-0 run, Indiana has clawed back over the last 24 minutes to cut Michigan’s lead to 17.— Bryan Mac, Original Tweeter (@Bry_Mac) January 26, 2019
The cushion grew as large as 23, as Zavier Simpson (12), Jon Teske (11) and Charles Matthews (10) both reached double figures. Matthews, in particular, notched a double-double with 11 boards, as well.
The defense overall allowed well under a point per possession against an undermanned Indiana offense — guard Devonte Green’s suspension stripped Miller of another ball handler.
The Wolverines moved to 19-1 (8-1), still nipping at conference-leading Michigan State’s heels. They get three days off before a Tuesday night rivalry match against Ohio State at Crisler Center (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2).