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Michigan matches best start in school history
Ann Arbor, MI (Sports Network) - Trey Burke scored 18 points and No. 2 Michigan overcame an off-shooting night to earn a 62-47 victory over Nebraska at the Crisler Center and match the best start in program history.
Tim Hardaway Jr. added 15 points and 11 rebounds to help the Wolverines (16-0, 3-0 Big Ten) obtain only their second-ever 16-0 beginning and first since 1985-86. Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas contributed 14 and 13 points, respectively, to the triumph.
Robinson made good on 5-of-6 field goal attempts, but Michigan prevailed despite shooting a season-low 38.9 percent as a team and hitting just 3-of-17 tries from 3-point range. The 62 points were also the fewest netted by the Wolverines this season.
Nebraska (9-7, 0-3) shot only 33.9 percent, however, en route to its third straight loss to open its conference schedule. Ray Gallegos paced the Cornhuskers with 19 points and Dylan Talley had 12 in the setback.
"We played really good defense," said Michigan head coach John Beilein. "Believe it or not, as coaches we love these type of wins. You don't necessary love coaching them, but when you look back at them, these are the ones that build teams."
The Wolverines entered the contest having made better than 47 percent of their 3-point shots over their last four wins, but went only 1-of-10 from that distance in the first half.
Burke accounted for the team's lone field goal from beyond the arc, with the basket capping a 7-0 run that gave Michigan an 18-12 lead with 8:37 left in the first half.
Nebraska countered with an 8-3 spurt, however, and cut the deficit to 21-20 on Shavon Shields' layup with 4:08 to go before intermission.
Hardaway would score on the other end, though, and Robinson's second-chance bucket with 1:37 remaining in the half enabled the Wolverines to enter the break holding a 25-20 edge.
Michigan stayed on top for the duration of the second half, though Nebraska stayed within striking distance until faltering late.
Gallegos kept the Huskers close by pouring in 16 points over the final stanza, and his triple with 7:12 left to play trimmed the Wolverines' lead to 47-42.
Robinson then threw down a putback dunk on the ensuing possession, igniting a 6-0 flurry that extended the margin to 11 points with under 4 1/2 minutes remaining.
A Gallegos layup and free throw with 2:32 left allowed Nebraska to close the gap to 55-47, but the Cornhuskers were held scoreless the rest of the way.
"We stuck it out," said Burke. "In the first half, shots weren't falling. Second half, shots weren't falling, but we did what we needed to do on the defensive end. We stayed together, that was the biggest thing."
Michigan's previous season low for field goal percentage was 44.3, which came during a 67-39 win over Binghamton on Dec. 11 ... The Wolverines had made 10 or more 3-pointers in each of their four previous wins ... Nebraska has averaged just 44 points and shot 33.3 percent over its three losses in Big Ten play ... The Cornhuskers have now lost seven straight conference games on the road and are just 1-10 away from home in the Big Ten since joining the league last season ... The Wolverines will travel to No. 15 Ohio State on Sunday.
01/09 23:07:57 ET
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