Struggling Big Ten rivals square off in Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, MI (Sports Network) – Long-time Big Ten rivals will meet in Ann
Arbor this afternoon, as the Michigan Wolverines welcome the 24th-ranked
Indiana Hoosiers to town.
Indiana has lost two of its last three games, including an 81-68 setback at
Purdue on Thursday. The Hoosiers are now a disappointing 2-6 in true road
games, and they appear to be out of the race for the Big Ten regular season
Michigan is desperate for a victory, as the team has lost five of its
last six games to fall to 5-6 in Big Ten play, overshadowing the team’s strong
17-9 overall record. On Tuesday, the Wolverines put forth their worst offensive
effort of the season in a 59-44 road loss to rival Michigan State. In nine true
road games this year, they are 2-7.
Indiana cruised to a 76-61 victory over Michigan back on January 27th, and
the Hoosiers own a 97-51 advantage in the all-time series.
Indiana got 20 points and eight rebounds from D.J. White on Thursday. Armon
Bassett pitched in 16 points against Purdue, and Roderick Wilmont finished with
15 points. Unfortunately for the Hoosiers, the rest of the team combined for
only 17 points. Indiana did not play strong defense in that contest, and the
only reason the club was able to stay relatively close was that it knocked down
21-of-26 free throws. White is clearly one of the top frontcourt players in the
Big Ten, as he is scoring 14.1 ppg to go along with 7.0 rpg. A 53.1 percent
shooter from the floor, White has also blocked 55 shots. Wilmont is the only
other double-digit scorer for the Hoosiers with his 12.3 ppg. Indiana relies
heavily on strong defensive play, and it is limiting opponents to 62.3 ppg on
41.4 percent shooting from the field, including 29 percent from behind the arc.
Dion Harris is the top scorer for Michigan this season, as he is posting 13.2
ppg despite his lackluster 39.6 percent shooting from the field. He also leads
the club with 104 assists and 34 steals. The only other double-digit scorer for
the Wolverines is Courtney Sims, as he is netting 12.5 ppg on 60.7 percent
efficiency from the floor. Sims also paces the club with 6.1 rpg, and Michigan
is outrebounding its foes by 5.4 rpg. Harris scored 13 points against Michigan
State on Tuesday, but the Wolverines finished with a season-low 44 points as a
team. They shot a lowly 35.3 percent from the floor and finished with only
eight assists against 20 turnovers. It is also worthy of mention that in 40
minutes of action, Michigan attempted a low total of four free throws.