While Michigan remains unbeaten at home, it’s had a difficult
time slowing down opponents on the road.
Hoping to avoid a sixth defeat in seven games as the visiting
team, the 22nd-ranked Wolverines square off against Nebraska on
Michigan (17-7, 7-4 Big Ten) improved to 13-0 at the Crisler
Center with a 68-56 win over then-No. 20 Indiana last
Much of the Wolverines’ success there is due to its stifling
defense. Michigan is limiting teams to just 39.8 percent shooting
while holding them to 54.1 points per game at home.
It’s been a different story for the Wolverines away from home,
though. Michigan has given up an average of 69.5 points in going
1-6 in true road games.
The Wolverines saw their road woes continue Sunday, falling
64-54 at then-No. 9 Michigan State. Coach John Beilein’s team was
outrebounded 40-16 and allowed the rival Spartans to shoot 52.2
percent from the floor.
Michigan has been outscored by an average of 7.2 points during
its current road slump, and Beilein knows his team will be in for
another tough test versus the Cornhuskers (11-11, 3-8).
“It’s going to be a challenge, just like it has been for
everyone the last two years. If you want to win a game in Lincoln,
you better be playing some really good basketball,” he said. “It’s
another step that we have to make with seven games left – four
away, three at home. A win in Lincoln (on Wednesday) would be
tremendous for us.”
Nebraska has struggled mightily during its first season in Big
Ten play. Averaging a conference-worst 57.5 points against league
foes, the Cornhuskers couldn’t keep up with Minnesota on Sunday,
falling 69-61 as the Golden Gophers shot 54.0 percent.
“I was very disappointed in our toughness to grind things out
today on offense and defense,” coach Doc Sadler said. “I didn’t
think we had the mindset you have to have in league play to know
that it’s going to be a tough ballgame.
“Things are not going to be easy for you. And when things get
tough, that’s when you have to start grinding … We’ve just got to
grind it from here on out.”
Slowing down Michigan leading scorer Tim Hardaway Jr. could help
the Cornhuskers do just that. Posting 14.7 points per game,
Hardaway is coming off another forgettable performance, going just
1-of-10 from the field in finishing with a season-low four points
over the weekend.
“We were trying to do everything we can. When he struggles like
that, we just have to continue to work with him,” Beilein said. “He
had a bad night, but he’ll try to grow from this experience. I love
coaching that kid.”
Hardaway is shooting just 33.6 percent from the floor over his
last 11 games – including a dismal 14-of-63 (22.2 percent) effort
from 3-point range.
“They’re in and out – or they’re either short or long, but
they’re on line,” he said. “I can’t get upset with that. As long as
they’re on line, and they look good and feel good, just keep on
Wednesday marks the first meeting between these schools since
the Wolverines prevailed 88-73 in Honolulu on Dec. 28, 1992.
Michigan holds a 6-2 advantage in the all-time series but has lost
both its visits to Lincoln.