Sophomore guard Trey Burke (Columbus, Ohio/Northland HS) and junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (Miami, Fla./Palmetto Senior) combined for 44 points, and redshirt junior forward Jordan Morgan (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit) recorded his fourth career double-double as the University of Michigan men's basketball team (No. 2 AP/No. 2 ESPN/USA Today) rolled over Northwestern, 94-66, it its Big Ten opener on Thursday night (Jan. 3) inside Welsh Ryan Arena.
All five starters scored in double digits for the Wolverines. Burke and Hardaway led the team with 23 and 21 points, respectively, while Morgan added 12 points to go with 13 rebounds, and freshman guards Glenn Robinson III (St. John, Ind./Lake Central) and Nik Stauskas (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada/St. Mark's School [Mass.]) chipped in 10 apiece.
Michigan jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead in a little more than three minutes of play after forcing two Northwestern turnovers within the first minute of the game. After the Wildcats finally scored on a layup at the 16:12 mark, Burke nailed back-to-back three-pointers, giving him 13 points in just five minutes of play.
The Wolverines extended their lead to 20-4 over the next two minutes, until the Wildcats picked up scored five straight points in 18 seconds. However, Stauskas responded, scoring five straight of his own.
Michigan took its first 20-point advantage of the game following back-to-back triples by Hardaway midway through the half. Northwestern then cut U-M's lead down to 14, but Hardaway once again nailed back-to-back three-pointers to give Michigan the 45-25 lead with 4:28 to play in the first, and the Wolverines entered the locker room with the 51-30 advantage. U-M shot 58 percent (19-of-33) from the floor, including 8-of-12 (67 percent) from behind the arc, and outrebounded the Wildcats, 23-11, in the opening 20 minutes.
U-M pushed its lead to 27 (63-36) within the first four minutes out of the break, but Northwestern used a 9-2 run to cut its deficit to 65-45 at the 12:16 mark. The Wolverines never relinquished their 20-point lead, however, scoring eight straight points in response. After a tip-in by Morgan, Hardaway and Morgan scored on back-to-back fastbreak slams, and Burke followed with a jumper to cap the run with eight minutes to play.
U-M lead by as many as 32 over the final eight minutes of the game with the help of three more triples from Stauskas, freshman guard Caris LeVert (Pickerington, Ohio/Central) and fifth year senior guard Corey Person (Kalamazoo, Mich. (Central), respectively.
The Maize and Blue shot 34-of-57 (60 percent) from the floor, including 13-of-22 (59 percent) from behind the three-point line in the game while holding Northwestern to just 24-of-59 (41 percent).
The Wolverines will return to Ann Arbor on Sunday (Jan. 6) when they host Iowa inside Crisler Center. Tipoff is slated for noon, and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.