The Michigan Wolverines (19-11, 10-9 B1G) hosted a bad Nebraska Cornhuskers team on Thursday night at Crisler Center, defeating them by a score of 82-58 in Zavier Simpson and Jon Teske’s final home games with the program. Former head coach John Beilein was in attendance in his first appearance in Ann Arbor since leaving for the Cleveland Cavaliers last summer.
Isaiah Livers led all scorers with 18 points and 10 rebounds in the victory. Simpson had a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists, while Teske finished with 12 points and 4 rebounds.
Michigan went on an 11-2 run to start the game, but the offense had problems sustaining that throughout the first half. Michigan would go into the locker room with a four-point lead at 32-28 and shot only 32.4 percent from the floor in the contest in a first chapter of play that was much closer than it ever should have been.
Coming out of the locker room, Michigan would go on a 22-6 run as water started to find its level between the two teams. The Wolverines held a 53-34 lead with just under 14 minutes to go and would never look back from there. Michigan shot just under 60 percent in the second half after not being able to hit the broad side of a barn in the first half.
- Nebraska is bad. This will be our shortest takeaways piece of the season because of that.
- Despite the above point, this is a nice palette cleanser after a bad week of basketball. Sometimes just getting back in the win column is good for confidence and that applies especially with a game at Maryland on Sunday and the Big Ten Tournament next week in Indy to follow.
- Simpson and Teske played well in their final games in Ann Arbor. It helped to play a team full of traffic cones for Teske in particular, but it was good to see him go out on a high note given what he has been fighting off throughout the year.
- Livers started the game 2-for-10 from the floor and really looked like a guy who just did not have his legs under him. Then the second half came and he went 7-for-8 from the floor. It goes without saying at this point that the ceiling of this team depends on how well he plays and how healthy he is. For the final 20 minutes of play on Thursday he was tremendous.
- Both Franz Wagner (11 points, 5 rebounds) and Brandon Johns (10 points, 5 rebounds) were terrific in this game. It was good to see for Johns in particular after a few efforts last week that were not quite what we had seen from him when things were going right this season.
Michigan takes on Maryland in the regular season finale on Sunday afternoon at noon. Then, they will head to Indianapolis next week (most likely on Thursday as an 8/9 seed) in the Big Ten Conference Tournament.