No. 20 Indiana loses 68-56 to No. 23 Michigan

LARRY LAGE AP Sports Writer Published:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- No. 20 Indiana dug a hole that doomed the Hoosiers at Michigan.

Trey Burke scored 10 of his 18 points in the opening minutes to help the 23rd-ranked Wolverines build a 20-point lead and then hang on for a 68-56 victory Wednesday night.

"At the start of the game, we allowed a very good team to play like a great team because our players came out playing like they had seen a ghost," Hoosiers coach Tom Crean said. "You cannot come out and not have a physical presence and give that kind of space to a team like Michigan."

Indiana (17-6, 5-6 Big Ten) pulled within two points twice in the second half, including at 52-50 with 3:20 remaining, before losing for the fifth time in seven games and fourth straight on the road.

"I'm proud of the way we did come back. I'm proud of the players that did," Crean said. "Our starting lineup was a joke and that's why we didn't play that lineup much longer after the initial start of the game."

The Wolverines (17-6, 7-3) remained unbeaten at home.

Michigan got off to a quick start after last weekend's loss at No. 3 Ohio State, scoring the first 13 points on a Burke-led burst and eventually taking a 28-8 lead.

Tim Hardaway Jr. hit a 3-pointer for Michigan, and after Indiana's Derek Elston missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Stu Douglass made a 3-pointer to put the Wolverines up by eight.

Jordan Hulls scored 18 points for Indiana, which lamented that the beginning of the game led to an unwanted finish.

"We can't start out like that," Hulls said. "It was just terrible."

Cody Zeller had 11 points and 12 rebounds, showing the Hoosiers had a standout freshman just as the Wolverines do with Burke.

"What makes them special is their poise," said Douglass, a senior. "They're hitting the freshman wall and busting through it."

Indiana's Verdell Jones III, who was scoreless in 12 minutes, didn't play after halftime because of a bruised shoulder that Crean said will be evaluated Thursday.

The Hoosiers play at rival Purdue on Saturday night.

During the final seconds in Ann Arbor, Michigan fans began chanting "Beat the Spartans!" and the Wolverines will try to do that for their fourth straight victory over Michigan State on Sunday in East Lansing.

The Hoosiers beat Michigan 73-71 earlier in the season, part of a 15-1 start for Indiana that included wins over Kentucky and Ohio State.

"I told them that I'm looking for guys in February who play with a warrior spirit," Crean said. "It doesn't matter if you're home or away."

Burke opened the scoring with a spinning layup and added two 3-pointers, and Zack Novak's 3-pointer from the right corner put Michigan ahead 13-0.

It was 28-8 after a free throw by Michigan's Jordan Morgan, but Indiana answered with nine straight points. Burke found a cutting Hardaway with an alley-oop pass to make it 33-20, and the Wolverines led 33-22 at halftime.

Michigan had only one turnover in the first half, while Indiana had eight.

The Hoosiers kept chipping away in the second half. Watford's three-point play made it 38-36 with 12:53 remaining, but Novak answered with a 3-pointer, the start of a 9-2 run for Michigan.

Indiana trailed by six points when Hulls made a 3-pointer and Watford added a free throw to again cut the deficit to two. But Hardaway, who has struggled with his outside shot, connected from the left wing after a pass from Burke to make it 55-50.

Hulls went 4 of 5 from 3-point range, but the rest of the Hoosiers were 1 of 9.