BLOOMINGTON, Ind. ⎯ After junior Manny Harris picked up his third foul less than three minutes into the second half, things looked bleak for the Wolverines.

The Michigan men’s basketball team would be without its star player, who was in deep foul trouble and helped cough up an early seven-point lead.

While the Wolverines eventually mounted a comeback effort, suspect defense and a lack of discipline ultimately doomed them against Indiana.

After taking a brief lead in the final few minutes and later tying the game up at 59 with two minutes to play, the Wolverines eventually fell to the Hoosiers 71-65.

And in the end, Michigan lost because of its poor defense and foul trouble.

With 1:57 left in the game, sophomore guard Zach Novak found an opening at the right baseline. While his 3-point shot didn’t fall, the sophomore was sent to the line for three foul shots.

After making all three, it appeared that Michigan may have recaptured the momentum. But just 18 seconds later, Novak committed his fourth foul that sent Indiana’s Verdell Jones III to the line and after making both shots, the Hoosiers snatched the lead for good and killed off Michigan’s comeback effort.

“It was definitely frustrating,” junior forward Manny Harris said. “It’s happened a couple times this year, where we’ve done a couple of good things in a row, but we still couldn’t get over the hump. We still have got to keep finding a way to get over that hump.”

While Indiana struggled with free-throw shooting early in the game, shooting just 68 percent overall, the Hoosiers, led by guard Jordan Hulls sealed the game in the waning seconds.

Overall, the Wolverines (0-1 Big Ten, 6-6 overall) committed 18 fouls in the second half, and Indiana (1-0, 7-6) was in the bonus with 15 minutes remaining in the half. Both senior DeShawn Sims and Harris had three fouls shortly after the second half started and Sims fouled out in the final minute of the game.

“One of the big things was getting into foul trouble very early, it was difficult for us,” Beilein said. “And then they were in the 1-and-1 by the 15-minute mark. We had to adjust and just play zone otherwise they are quick and do some good 1-on-1 stuff and Manny or DeShawn was not going to be able to play because they were going to get a foul somewhere along the line.”

When asked about the officiating, Beilein was clearly upset by some of the poor fouls his team took.

“Some of them were our reaching and grabbing,” Beilein said. “There were a couple of over-hustle types of things where just think about this for a second, the ball’s a long ways away from you. I know you want to work hard, but you can’t run through some people because we really don’t foul that much.”

The loss was just another heartbreaker in an already disappointing season for the Wolverines. Even worse was the fact that Indiana played without arguably their best player in freshman Maurice Creek, who was lost to a knee injury in the Hoosier’s last game against Bryant.

After chronic struggles throughout the first 11 games of the season, Novak finally found his touch. He led the team with 18 points including a red-hot start in which he made his first three shots from behind the arc.

“Zack got off to a hot start,” Beilein said. “We hung around, but I looked at it, but we still shot 32 percent as a team. We’re not going to win if we did that.”

While Novak had by far his best game this season in front of friends and family from his home state, the team as a whole struggled through long scoring droughts including a key 15-0 run by the Hoosiers that lasted six minutes.

While the Wolverines fought back from as much as an eight point deficit, it was easy to tell that today’s game was one of the biggest disappointments in an already poor start to the season.

“A loss is a loss, any way you look at it,” Novak said. “This one’s in league play, it’s a little bigger. But it’s just disappointing. No one wants to lose anymore.”

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