It took Tom Crean's team a while to get on the board it Big Ten play, but when it finally did, it left no doubt.
Indiana rode hot shooting and solid defense to an 80-61 victory against Michigan on Saturday night in Bloomington for its first Big Ten win of the season. The triumph broke the Hoosiers' (10-8, 1-4) six game losing streak as well.
Verdell Jone III led the way for Indiana with 24 points, four rebounds and four assists. At one point in the second half, Jones had more points that Michigan did total. Christian Watford added a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Hulls also broke double figures with 13 points on 4-4 shooting from the field including 3-3 from the 3-point line. Overall, the Hoosiers shot 67% from the field and 43% from the arc.
While the Hoosiers were torching the nets, though, Michigan struggled offensively again, shooting only 36% on the evening and falling short of 65 points for the fourth straight game. Four players reached double figures for the Wolverines, but three, Zack Novak, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jordan Morgan barely scraped into that column with 10 points each. Darius Morris had a big game for Michigan with 22 points, but beyond him, the Wolverines had trouble establishing a consistent option.
With Indiana's win, only Iowa is still winless on conference play. The Hoosiers will look to keep their new found momentum going at No. 21 Wisconsin on Thursday night in Madison. Starting with that game, Indiana will face four ranked teams in five games, the only breather against the Hawkeyes on Jan. 23.
Michigan will try to get back on track Tuesday in Evanston against Northwestern. The Wolverines have dropped five of their past six games and will desperately be seeking a win over a Wildcat team that battled Michigan State tough on the road on Saturday. At 11-7, Michigan has no margin for error if it hopes to make the NCAA Tournament with its young roster.