BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Michigan came into Sunday's game with Indiana carrying a lot of ugly labels. They were underachievers, overrated and pathetic shooters, and none of those monikers are things you want to here in mid-January.
But the struggling Wolverines, who were ranked No. 6 in the country in the preseason but have already lost six games in which they were favored, flipped all of their scripts in rolling to an impressive 80-62 win at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. It was Indiana's first home loss all season after winning its first 12 games in Bloomington this season.
Michigan, dead last in three-point shooting in the Big Ten coming into the game, made 11-of-17 threes and led comfortably throughout. Their 80 points were the most allowed at home all season by Indiana.
Michigan sophomore center Hunter Dickinson had 25 points, nine rebounds and four assists, and freshman Caleb Houston, who was just 2-for-21 from three this calendar year before this week, made five three-pointers and scored 19 points.
The Wolverines picked the Hoosiers' defense apart, something that hasn't really happened at home all season. Indiana is now 14-5 on year, and 5-4 in the Big Ten. Michigan is 9-7, and 3-3 in the league
"They came in here scratching for a win, and honestly, they played harder than us,'' Indiana junior Trayce Jackson-Davis said. "We can't ever let that happen. We gave up 80 points on our homecourt, and we can never let that happen.''
"Defensively, when we were doubling (Dickinson), it was easy for him to look and see what was coming. He was just holding the ball and waiting on wherever the double came from. It was on us, and he made us pay for that.''
Michigan basically led wire-to-wire — Indiana's last lead was 4-2 — and they scored points in bunches when they had to. They had a 10-1 early in the first half and then another 12-4 run to go up 29-13. Indiana got no closer than six points in the first half, and trailed 38-30 at the half.
But then Michigan scored on its first six possessions in the second half and bolted back out to a 16-point lead against at 52-36. Indiana never got closer than nine points in the second half.
These slow starts to each half have been troublesome. It even happened Thursday night in that dramatic win over Purdue, when Indiana trailed 16-8 out of the gate and the bench players got them back in the game.
"That falls on us. It's our homecourt, and the starting five, we need to figure that out,'' Jackson-Davis said. "Even in the Purdue game, the second unit got us going. We're the starting five for a reason, and we need to figure that out.''
Jackson-Davis led Indiana with 17 points. He was 6-for-13 from the field and missed several short shots early. He made 5-of-6 free throws. Point guard Xavier Johnson had 14 points, and he was the only other Hoosier in double figures.
Indiana was 5-for-19 shooting from three-point range (26.9 percent), but three of those came late from Parker Stewart when the outcome was no longer in doubt.
It was a disappointing performance, especially on the heels of that exciting win over Purdue.
"You've got to give them a lot of credit. They played a great game, and I told (Michigan coach) Juwan (Howard) that after the game,'' Indiana coach Mike Woodson said. "That's on me, erspecially after the Purdue game. It's my job to have them ready.
"Our starting five the last two games has dug a hole. Our bench bailed us out in the Purdue game, but tonight we got down by so much, we couldn't get back. Those 80 points, that's a lot for us to give up on defense.''
There was no bench boost, either. Senior guard Rob Phinisee, the star of the Purdue game, was just 1-for-5 shooting on Sunday, and didn't score until there was only 2:36 left. Sophomore Trey Galloway played 23 minutes but was 0-for-5 shooting.
Even Michael Durr, the 7-footer who played well against Purdue, struggled overall. He hit two shots in the first half when he came in, but he got burned twice defensively and created a turnover in between in the second half, and Woodson had to take him right out.
Indiana's bench scored only eight points the entire game on 4-for-18 shooting.
"I thought the early shots that we had, we forced them instead of pump-faking and letting the guy go by,'' Woodson said. "And the reverse of that, we were hoping they would miss shots. We've been normally good on the three-point line, but that was the difference in the game tonight.''
Part of Woodson's job when he was hired was to help this team learn how to win. They've been doing that little by little, and learning how to handle success is part of the process, too.
"They haven't had very many big wins here,'' Woodson said. "When you experience some success, it's new to you. We're still learning how to win, and we still have a long way to go.''
Indiana's homestand continues on Wednesday night against Penn State. Game time is at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Hoosiers play at Maryland next Saturday.