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February 06, 2014 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-06

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8A - Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

No contest: Wolverines blow out Huskers

Daily SportsEditor
By the time the late-arriving
Crisler Center fans even got to
their seats, they may as well
have picked right back up and
turned for the exits, because the
Michigan men's basketball team
had all but locked up its ninth
win of the NEBRASKA 50
season. MICHIGAN 79
10th-ranked Wolverines
started hot Wednesday night
and got even hotter as the first
half went on. They used 8-0,
12-0 and 15-0 runs throughout
the first half to open up a
30-point lead and cruised to a
79-50 win over Nebraska (3-6
Big Ten,11-10 overall).
"As soon as Michigan came
out and made their barrage of
threes, it felt like we tried to
match them," said Nebraska
coach Tim Miles. "You can't
match Michigan. You just gotta
endure the punishment they're
going to give you for that time.
Hopefully it subsides."
At one point in the second half,
the lead reached 41 points.
With an early start and Ann
Arbor roadways filled with heaps
to play by the time fans arrived
was Zak Irvin vs. Nebraska,
The freshman guard, having
drained four 3-pointers, led that
battle 16-15 with three minutes
remaining in the first half before
a 5-0 run by the Cornhuskers -
with Irvin on the bench - gave
them a 21-16 lead at the half,
"We had a whole bunch of
turnovers and rushed shots
early," Miles said. "Those are
all bad offensive decisions
that lead into really difficult
defensive situations. And so
Irvin's just running down like
he's in open gym."
After scoring just 52 points on
18 made field goals three days ago
against Indiana in Bloomington,
Michigan (9-1, 17-5) had 49

Sophomore forward Glenn Robinson Ill scored a game-high 23 points.

points on 15 makes at halftime.
Sophomore guard Caris LeVert
kicked off the game with two
straight 3-pointers, and then
the rest of the team chipped in.
Michigan made nine 3-pointers
in the half and 13 in the game,
their most since a December
blowout over Houston Baptist.
The defensive performance
also produced an opponent's
lowest output since November.
"We were a little angry
about that (Indiana) game,"
said sophomore forward Glenn
Robinson III. "We tried to get
as much anger out as possible on
defense as you can. I think we
did a great job of that. It's hard to
hold a team under 50."
Nebraska has given the Big
Ten all it can handle this season,
beating Ohio State, Minnesota
and Indiana, and coming
within one point of knocking
off Michigan in January. The
problem for the Cornhuskers is
that those games have all come
at home in Pinnacle Bank Arena,
and Michigan wasn't about to
head there for a second trip.

"I wanted a huge boulder on
our shoulders after that loss
(to Indiana)," said Michigan
coach John Beilein, who was
celebrating his 61st birthday.
"You only have so many
opportunities to win the Big
Ten Championship and it
comes every game in these little
pieces. So come in there with a
chip on your shoulder. Anger,
mad - whatever. Just come in
and get done what you have to
get done."
The laughter gave Michigan
a chance to put up some stellar
individual performances.
Robinson broke out of a 3-point
shooting funk to tiea career-high
23 points, making 3-of-7 from
beyond the arc.
While Irvin cooled off in the
second half, his 16 points were
the most of his Big Ten career.
LeVert tied a career-high five
assists to add to seven boards.
Most went well for Michigan
on Wednesday night, but
unfortunately for Irvin, the
Cornhuskers beat him handily in
the end, 50-16.

Irvin, Michigan
bury Nebraska with
barrage of treys,
move to 9-1 in
Big Ten play
Daily Sports Writer
Three weeks ago, the
Michigan men's basketball
team held its breath as the ball
spun around the rim while time
expired in its game against
Nebraska. The ball popped out
and the Wolverines escaped
Lincoln unscathed.
Wednesday night, the
rematch was over at halftime,
when Michigan headed
into the locker room with a
comfortable 27-point lead
over the Cornhuskers. The
10th-ranked Wolverines scored
just four points in the final 10:34
and still won, 79-50. The huge
differential, and easy win, came
thanks in large part to superb
3-point shooting from Michigan
(9-1 Big Ten, 17-5 overall).
Michigan vs. Nebraska
Ttl 13
Total3-pointers, the most the
Wolverines have tallied in aNigTen
game this season,
Michigan jumpout to a big lead.
Points scored by Nebraska inthefirst
halt. Irvin had16.
Points in the final 10:34 for the
Wolverines, which stilliwon by29.

Irvin said.
"I definitely
didn't see that
ball going in.
,.. Once I made
the first one,
my teammates
were justtelling
me to keep
shooting it,
and it just gave
me a lot more
The lucky-
3-pointer set Irvin
strong run at the
half. Michigan
defensive stops on1
possessions and I
two more 3-point
other side. At the
last trey, the 6-foot-
singlehandedly our
Cornhuskers (3-6, 1
had just 15 points
minutes left in the f
Irvin wasn't th.
enjoying his time
arc - sophomore
LeVert and Robi
knocked down thr
own from beyond th
Robinson led ti
scoring with 23 poin
8-for-14 from th
was the first time

Leading the charge was
freshman guard Zak Irvin, who
contributed 16 points on 6-of-
11 shooting - just the second
time he's scored more than 15
points in a game. Irvin entered
the contest midway through the
first half to replace sophomore
forward Glenn Robinson III
and made an immediate impact.
He knocked down a jumper
before nailing two 3-pointers in
his first three minutes.
Later in the first half, he
had the ball beyond the arc
again and fired another 3-point
attempt. The ball hit the back
of the rim, sat on the front and
then dropped in.
"I knew it was gonna be my
night when that happened,"

December that Robinson had
scored more than 20 in a game,
and he attributed the sharp
shooting to an adjustment he
made in his technique earlier
this week.
"Shots just fell," Robinson
said. "I told you guys my shots
were gonna fall. I had no doubt
in my mind. My teammates did
a great job of passing me the
ball when I was open, and I shot
it with confidence."
The Wolverineswererelieved
to finally see their shots start
to go in after shooting just 40
percent against Indiana earlier
in the week and hitting just
three 3-pointers in that game.
"We had better pace, better
spacing out," LeVert said,

win to
"Once I made the loss at
Indiana. "We
the first one, my took easier
shots today."
teammates were The trio
of Irvin,
teing me Robinson
keep shooting." and LeVert
to kcombined
for ten of
13 treys -
n up for a the most they've made in a
end of the Big Ten game this season. The
made two spot-on shooting beyond the
the ensuing arc - particularly from Irvin -
Irvin made was certainly enough to please
ers on the Michigan coach John Beilein
time of his on the night he celebrated his
6 guard had 61st birthday.
tscored the "To have a guy come off the
1-10), which bench and do that," Beilein said,
with three before pausing. "Truthfully
irst half. when that ball goes in the air
e only one - because his delivery is a little
behind the unique - it's like you don't
guard Caris know what's gonna happen, and
nson each it's been going in at 40 percent,
ee of their so I just close my mouth and say
e arc. 'Keep shooting, Zak."'

he team in
its, shooting
e field. It
since late

For more coverage
Check MichiganDaily.con
throughout the day foraupdates

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Hyman starring oretoo ed
third line with Motte, Moffatt

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Junior's move back
to center sparks
Michigan offense
Daily Sports Editor
One month ago, Michigan
hockey coach Red Berenson
was trying to dig his team out
of a four-game losing streak. He
sat down to tweak his lines, and
ended up finding an answer. His
name is Zach Hyman.
The answer has been there
all season. He's not in the
shadow of his teammates and
not always on the score sheet,
the junior forward has earned
his start in all 22 games.
Berenson says Hyman is one
of the hardest-working players
on the Wolverines' roster, and
that much has been evident
during the team's current four-
game winning streak.
The streak began on Jan. 23
against Michigan State. That
day, Berenson decided to move
sophomore forward Boo Nieves
from his traditional center spot.
Hyman replaced Nieves by
making the move from wing to
center, and it has worked out just
as Berenson might have hoped.
"Back at center, he's more
mature, more responsible and
more confident at both ends of
the ice," Berenson said.
With Hyman centering the
third line between freshman
Tyler Motte and senior Luke
Moffatt, the performance of
all three players has quickly
escalated. Hyman and his
linemates combined for four
goals in two games against

Wisconsin last weekend and
supplied high energy in the
offensive zone.
"We've been working down
low on the opponents real well,"
Moffatt said. "Even in the State
weekend, we didn't produce on
the score sheet, but we did have
a lot of good in-zone offense
on them, and a lot of sustained
pressure down low and cycling."
During the two-game sweep
of Michigan State, Hyman had
several chances that refused to
hit twine. The red iron around
the netting acted as more of a
stoplight than anything when
two point-blank opportunities
from the slot clinked off
the post in the first period.
Even then, with frustration
inevitably creeping in, Hyman
remained composed.
More than a week later, he
crashed the net in the second
period of last Friday's 3-1
victory over Wisconsin and
jammed home a rebound for his
first goal in seven contests.
"He's getting chances, and
now it seems his line has got
some chemistry," Berenson
said. "I'd like to see Zach keep
hammering pucks at the net,
and I think the more he does,
the more he'll score."
Hyman played center for the
majority of his youth hockey
career, and he stayed there for
the beginning of his freshman
campaign. But his defensive
inconsistencies pushed him away
from center and to the wing.
Hyman has progressed
well throughout his career,
gradually proving why the
NHL's Florida Panthers drafted
him in 2010. His teammates
now label him one of the better

two-way players on the team.
The junior's speed and ability
to play both high and low in
the defensive zone have been
trademarks to his success.
"Red preaches defense, and
that's what I've been trying to
get better at ever since I got here
as a freshman," Hyman said. "I
think it's improved greatly from
the start of my freshman year to
the start of this year."
He's found his way back in a
familiar niche as a center man,
and it's been beneficial for all
aspects of the Wolverines'
game. He looks comfortable
there but says he'll play
whichever position Berenson
finds most fitting.
This week, Berenson called
Hyman the catalyst of his line,
and he's earned that praise. Not
much about his game is flashy,
but he grinds the opposition in
the offensive zone and seems
to get to the right places at the
right times.
With just two goals in 22
games, his emergence doesn't
mean filling up the stat sheet
every night, but that's just fine
by him.
Michigan already has proven
goal scorers, at least recently.
The Wolverines need Hyman
to supply what he's been doing
for the past four games - and
all season, really. They need his
work ethic to shine through,
because that effort can go a long
way in bringing out the best in
players around him.
Hyman's a big believer that
when you work hard, good
things will happen. He's back
to working as a center, and
great results have been coming
Michigan's way ever since.

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