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(Thursday, January 3rd)
Final Score: (2) Michigan 94, Northwestern 66
Evanston, IL (Sports Network) - All five Michigan starters scored in double- figures, with Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. leading the way , as the No. 2 Wolverines cruised past Northwestern, 94-66, to open up Big Ten conference play.
Burke tallied a game-high 23 points to go along with five assists and four steals, while Hardaway Jr. notched 21 points and four assists for Michigan (14-0, 1-0 Big Ten), which shot a strong 13-of-22 from 3-point range, with Burke and Hardaway Jr. each burying four shots from beyond the arc.
In continuing their best start since the 1985-86 campaign, the Wolverines also received 12 points and 13 rebounds from Jordan Morgan and 10 points apiece from Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas.
For the second straight game, Northwestern (9-5, 0-1) was without its top scorer in Reggie Hearn, who sat with an injured ankle.
Jared Swopshire and Kale Abrahamson each netted 11 points and Alex Olah and Tre Demps each put forth 10 for the Wildcats, who had won three of five coming in.
"We got off to such a horrible start - 10-nothing - and we weren't able to stop the entire evening," said Northwestern coach Bill Carmody. "I think what we have to do as a staff is coach the young guys, coach all of them, and we just have to improve ourselves and get better at everything."
Burke came out scorching hot, knocking down his first three shots from long range in the midst of scoring 13 straight points to help Michigan open up a 16-4 lead.
"I think we needed to come out and make a statement on the road," said Burke. "The type of intensity that we came out with should be an example for the next couple of games."
After back-to-back buckets for the Wildcats, Stauskas countered with a driving score before Burke found him in the corner for an open triple, which created a 16-point margin for Michigan at 25-9 just under eight minutes in.
Without its leading scorer, Northwestern struggled to rally back, falling behind by 20 following consecutive triples from Hardaway Jr. midway through the half.
The Wildcats pulled within 39-25 after a mini 6-0 spurt, thanks to back-to- back scores from Demps, but Hardaway Jr. responded by swishing two more from beyond the arc to push the margin back up to 20. Michigan would go on to carry a 51-30 advantage into halftime.
Northwestern, which shot a pretty respectable 44.4 percent in the final 20 minutes, followed a Michigan basket with consecutive triples by Swopshire and Alex Marcotullio to open the second half. However, they could not slow down the Wolverines.
Michigan shot an incredible 62.5 percent in the second half and ripped off a 10-0 run to further increase its cushion just over three minutes in.
Robinson III highlighted the stretch by following Burke's fourth 3-pointer of the contest with a 3-point play. Hardaway Jr. then sank a pair of free throws to make it a 63-36 Michigan advantage.
Later in the stanza, Burke found Hardaway Jr. and Morgan for dunks before burying a jumper to cap an 8-0 surge, putting the emphasis on the blowout at 80-52.
The Wolverines shot 8-for-12 from three-point range in the first half en route to their fourth consecutive win over Northwestern ... Michigan outscored Northwestern in the paint, 40-22 ... The Wildcats, who opened up a season-long five-game homestand on Thursday, have lost all five of their games at home this season ... Michigan leads the all-time series between the schools by a 106-56 margin.
01/04 00:39:26 ET
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