Hardaway scores 26 as U-M holds off Indiana 73-69

BY foxsports • February 12, 2011

The Detroit News

Feb. 12, 2011

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- In Wednesday's victory over Northwestern, Jordan Morgan had the best game of his Michigan career.

On Saturday, it was Tim Hardaway Jr.'s turn.

Hardaway scored a season-high 26, helping the Wolverines dispatch Indiana, 73-69, before an announced sellout crowd at Crisler Arena.

Michigan (16-10, 6-7) won its third straight and fifth of its last six in its push to make the NCAA Tournament. Darius Morris added 15 points, six rebounds and five assists and Stu Douglass had 13 points for the Wolverines, who already have bettered their 15-17 mark from last season.

Continuing his impressive freshman season, Hardaway scored 17 in the second half, including 11 straight .

"He punked our guys," Indiana coach Tom Crean said. "He's good, but we're good enough to guard a young man like that. He's become a shot-maker. Earlier in the season, he was a shot-taker."

After Indiana scored first, U-M scored the next nine, with two baskets by Morgan. The Wolverines opened their largest lead of the half, 30-17, with 5:10 left and led 32-24 at halftime.

But Michigan opened the second half hitting its first four 3-pointers, sparking a 14-4 spurt and a 46-28 lead. Indiana (12-14, 3-10) later had a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 50-38, but Douglass hit a 3-pointer to stretch the lead back to 15.

Hardaway found his shooting touch in the second half, going 6 of 7 and 3 of 4 from 3-point range.

"All shooters feel that way because you see the ball going in. You like the way that feels and you keep on shooting it and it keeps going in," Hardaway said.

He scored 11 straight, including a pair of 3-pointers and a three-point play, pushing the lead to 64-44.

"His shot selection has been really key and that's been opening it up for him," Morris said. "Now he's taking high-percentage shots, and when they try to close out on him, he's putting the ball on the ground and getting buckets around the rim."Morris added a layup for U-M's largest lead, at the 5:26 mark, but that was Michigan's last field goal.

The Hoosiers used a 17-2 run over a four-minute span to cut the deficit to 68-61 with 1:05 left. Michigan struggled to put the game away, going 7 of 18 from the free-throw line in the final five minutes, and Indiana cut it to 70-67 with 27.9 seconds left.

Morris' two made free throws with eight seconds left, stretched the lead to six and put the game out of reach.

"I think we just tried to play the clock a little too much. We probably should have stayed a little more aggressive," Zack Novak said. "But a win is a win, so we'll take it."

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