BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Michigan’s prolific offense was out of sorts and its 10-game winning streak came to an end.
Yet after Indiana handed the seventh-ranked Wolverines their first Big Ten loss on Sunday, coach John Beilein couldn’t have been happier.
“I think it’s really good for us,” Beilein said. “I didn’t think we were going to go undefeated. We hadn’t lost since Dec. 11, against Arizona. I had no expectations of 18-0, believe me. In the long run, we have to get better.”
The Wolverines lost 63-52, producing a season-worst point total and ending their best start to conference play since 1976-77. They had been the league’s last unbeaten.
Michigan (16-5, 8-1 Big Ten) received 13 points from Derrick Walton Jr. and 12 from Caris LeVert. While the Wolverines’ guards produced, their dynamic frontcourt duo of Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III was held in check.
Stauskas had six points, only the third time this season he has failed to score in double figures, while Robinson scored a quiet nine points. Michigan shot 40 percent from the field and made just three 3-pointers.
“We didn’t get many good shots today,” Beilein said. “Credit their defense. The defensive game plan was outstanding. We have never seen anything like it since I’ve been here.”
A major part of that scheme was defending Stauskas, a 6-foot-6, 205-pound small forward, with lithe point guard Yogi Ferrell. The cross-match worked to perfection, as Stauskas was 1 of 6 from the field and spent many possessions on the left side of the court away from the action, rarely seeing the ball at times.
“I was basically trying to limit his touches, play the screens and not let him get the ball,” Ferrell said.
No. 13 Cincinnati 50, South Florida 45: Sean Kilpatrick overcame an off-target performance by scoring 10 of his 18 points in the closing minutes, rallying Cincinnati to its 14th straight victory.