Michigan Basketball: Wolverines Roll Past Nebraska, Will Face Illinois at Home

Andrew SilversheinContributor IIIFebruary 9, 2012

via Zimbio.com
via Zimbio.com

The No. 25 Michigan Wolverines (18-7, 8-4 Big Ten) defeated a struggling Nebraska team 62-46 on Wednesday night.

The Wolverines had a bad taste in their mouths after a dismal performance against the Spartans last Sunday and arrived in Lincoln with a chip on their shoulders.

Michigan's shooting woes on the road continued as they shot 32 percent from the field in the first half. Luckily, the Cornhuskers were not much better, and the score was 22-17 in favor of the Wolverines at recess.

However, Michigan began the second half on a 15-4 run and quickly put the game out of reach. At one point, they connected on 15-of-18 field goals. With 3:37 left in the game, Michigan was up 59-33.

One could say they caught fire, as they finished the game shooting 76.2 percent from the field in the second half. 

It was a historic night for Michigan senior and co-captain, Zack Novak. He scored his 1,000th point as a Wolverine and finished the game with 14 points, two rebounds, two assists and three steals.

After the game, Coach John Beilein revealed that at halftime, Michigan planned to look for great rather than mediocre shots and to play more of an inside-out game in the second half.

Whatever the adjusted game plan was, it worked.

Freshman phenom Trey Burke added 12 points to go along with five assists and five rebounds. Stu Douglass added 13 points, and Jordan Morgan contributed eight points and six rebounds.

Tim Hardaway Jr.'s struggles continued against Nebraska, as he shot 3-11 from the field and 0-6 from three-point range. The Wolverines must get him going if they want to have a shot in the Big Ten Tournament and March Madness.

Michigan will play Illinois (16-7, 5-5 Big Ten) at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor at 1pm on Sunday. The game will be broadcast nationally on CBS.

The Fighting Illini started the season off strong, but have lost four of their last five games.

Michigan will have to find a way to stop their two best players, Brandon Paul and Meyers Leonard. Paul is averaging 15.1 points, five rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Leonard is a 7'1" center who registers 13.3 points, eight rebounds and 2.1 blocks per contest.