BLOOMINGTON, Ind. —
The Hoosiers had no choice if they wanted to keep their perfect home record intact Thursday.
Though the Hoosiers never trailed, it was a treacherous night.
Indiana led by as many as 15 points late in the first half and seemed poised for a blowout until the Wolverines rallied within seven points at halftime. Michigan trimmed the lead to 44-43 early in the second half, and finally tied the score at 46 when Evan Smotrycz connected on a 3-pointer.
Watford, of course, broke the tie with two free throws, and Zeller posted up for a layup to make it 50-46.
When the Hoosiers followed that with a 12-4 run that ended on Victor Oladipo's baseline drive for a dunk, the Hoosiers led 65-55 with 7:20 to go, and it looked like Indiana would pull away.
Not so fast.
"I thought we really hung in there," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "This place gets rocking-and-rolling just like a lot of places in this league, and I thought we handled that. It came with our defense and we didn't allow them a lot of second opportunities."
Michigan took advantage, too.
Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. combined for all of the points in a 13-3 run, the last coming when Hardaway converted a turnover into a breakaway dunk that tied the score at 68 with 3:02 to play. It was only the second tie of the game.
Hardaway finished with 19 points, Jordan Morgan had 12 and Burke added 10.
But Indiana's defense didn't crack, not allowing another basket until 2.9 seconds were left in the game.
"I'm really proud of our team, I thought they played really hard and did some of the things we needed to do to win," Beilein said. "But we needed a couple more possessions or have a few possessions back. It didn't go our way."