Michigan beats Nebraska 58-44
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) The injury bug couldn't stop Michigan, so what chance did Nebraska have?
Zak Irvin had 14 points and 12 rebounds and the shorthanded Wolverines rode a strong second-half start to a 58-44 victory over the Cornhuskers on Tuesday.
Michigan, which lost leading scorer Caris Levert to season-ending foot surgery last week, played without guard Derrick Walton Jr. and forward Mark Donnal.
Walton, who averages 10.7 points and made a 3-pointer to force overtime in Saturday's loss to Big Ten leader Wisconsin, was removed from the lineup shortly before the game because of a sore toe. Donnal was out with an illness.
Coach John Beilein still had enough on his bench.
''Guys just stepped up all over the place,'' he said after giving scout-team center Max Bielfeldt a season-high 26 minutes.
The Wolverines (13-8, 6-3 Big Ten) led 23-18 at intermission and blew the game open after starting the second on a 13-2 run. Irvin closed the spurt with a 3-pointer and the Cornhuskers never got closer than eight points the rest of the night.
Aubrey Dawkins scored 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting and Bielfeldt added 12 points and nine boards for Michigan. The Wolverines shot 49 percent and were perfect (8 of 8) from the line.
Irvin said Michigan was itching to get back on the court after the tough loss to Wisconsin.
''We had a little bit of a chip on our shoulders because of the Wisconsin game and we took it out on Nebraska,'' he said.
Shavon Shields had 14 points to lead Nebraska (12-8, 4-4), which fell to 0-5 against the Wolverines since joining the conference before the 2011-12 season. The Huskers were outrebounded 34-26.
The Cornhuskers shot an abysmal 31 percent (15 of 49) from the floor and seemed to miss no matter where they found open looks. They were even worse in the first half, when they made just seven of their 27 tries.
''I just thought they out-competed us and out-executed us,'' Huskers coach Tim Miles said. ''We just didn't show enough heart.''
Beilein, who started three freshmen Tuesday night, said the latest injury and illness news has been frustrating.
''I have not been a pleasant guy to be around the last couple of days,'' he said. ''All you can do is work your way through it.''
Nebraska: Guard Terran Petteway struggled from the field and finished with just seven points on 1 of 11 shooting. He entered the game averaging 19.6, second-best in the Big Ten. Petteway didn't crack the score sheet until he made a 3-pointer five minutes into the second half.
Michigan: Guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman has seen his playing time increase since the Wolverines lost Levert and the freshman continued to earn his keep. He had nine points Tuesday, including a pair of layups during the decisive run.
''He's just growing, little by little,'' Beilein said. ''He has the speed we need right now.''
Nebraska visits Minnesota on Saturday.
The Wolverines travel to in-state rival Michigan State for a Sunday matinee.