Nov. 16, 2022. If this date means little to you, you’re forgiven — it was the date of the final win of Michigan men’s basketball’s four consecutive wins to start the season.
In the 84 days since, the Wolverines have failed to win more than two games in a row in any stretch — that is, until Wednesday night. With a 93-72 victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Michigan has finally found that all-too-elusive third straight win, at a point in the season they needed it the most.
Here’s how the game played out for the Wolverines:
For just a brief, passing glimmer of the first half’s opening moments, this one had the makings of a nail-biter. The Cornhuskers even took the lead outright in the sixth minute, giving the appearance of a team ready to end the Wolverines’ win streak.
And then Michigan scored 14 unanswered points in 90 seconds. So much for the early nailbiter.
In all seriousness, the Wolverines’ offense started hot and never cooled off. What’s more to say than 15-for-20 from the field and 8-for-12 from behind the arc? How about this — with seven minutes to go in the second half, the score was 41-17, a stunning 24-point lead for Michigan off a scoring run that seemed to never end.
While the Wolverines’ shooting inevitably cooled off and Nebraska was able to trim the lead in the final minutes, it wasn’t by much as Michigan still entered halftime with a comfortable 12-point margin. Statistically, Joey Baker lead the first-half scoring efforts with 11 points, while Terrance Williams II was the top rebounder in the half with four boards.
All-in-all, the second half was more about the Cornhuskers trying to prevent a double-digit Wolverines victory than a true question of who would emerge the winners. A string of five and four-point scoring streaks for Michigan ballooned the lead to more than 20 at one point, before Nebraska was able to bring the margin back down by way of a 11-0 streak of its own.
It wasn’t quite the dominant second half Wolverines fans may have wanted — no encores of Michigan’s explosive run were to be found. Ultimately though it was more than enough to secure the victory, as the Wolverines exited the floor with an exact 20-point victory, the second double-digit win in the past week.
Statistically, Jett Howard finished as the night’s scoring leader with 22 points, while Hunter Dickinson finished as rebounds leader with 10 boards.
The Wolverines conclude their three-game home stretch with a matchup against the No. 18 ranked Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday, Feb. 11. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.