LINCOLN — On Wednesday, Michigan basketball coach John Beilein stepped foot in the state of Nebraska for the first time. And after beating the Cornhuskers handily on Thursday night, he’s probably sad he has to return to Ann Arbor so soon.

Following a tight, low-scoring first half, the 22nd-ranked Wolverines rode a 15-4 run to open the second half to pick up their second road win of the season, 62-46.

Neither offense could get the ball to drop early on. By the second media timeout, Michigan (8-4 Big Ten, 18-7 overall) was 4-for-12 from the field, and Nebraska (3-9, 11-12) was just 1-for-12.

Per usual, though, the Wolverines were able to rely on senior guard and co-captain Zack Novak to knock down shots while the rest of the offense stalled. By that second timeout, he was responsible for three of Michigan’s four buckets, two of which came from behind the arc.

On his second basket of the game, Novak became the 45th player in Michigan basketball history to register 1,000 career points. He is just the 28th Wolverine to top 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds. He finished the game with a game-high 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting.

“I didn’t know,” Novak said, laughing about his milestone. “Maybe if I did it in a timely fashion it’d be cool…I’ve been playing 35 minutes a game for four years. I don’t think that averages out very well.”

Aside from Novak, neither offense fared very well in the first half. Michigan was a mere 32 percent from the floor, while Nebraska was shooting 22 percent. And neither defense seemed particularly imposing — the shooters simply had trouble sinking shots.

The Wolverines also had trouble penetrating inside, failing to score a single point in the paint in the first half. Beilein must have had a conversation about that in the locker room at halftime, as sophomore forward Jordan Morgan got a couple of looks underneath early in the second frame. He finished with eight points after going scoreless in the first half.

“We just wanted to get two feet in the paint, not settle for shots,” Morgan said. “When we execute and get early, easy baskets, we’re tough to guard.”

Sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr. has struggled recently, coming into Wednesday night’s matchup shooting a dismal 21 percent from 3-point range. And he didn’t help his average against the Cornhuskers, going 0-for-7 from the field in the first half, including 0-for-5 from long range.

He didn’t register his first bucket until the 16:55 mark in the second half — a finger roll after finding an open lane to the basket. He wound up with six points, none of which came on 3-pointers.

“I felt bad after the Michigan State game, and I don’t want to hurt my teammates in any way,” Hardaway Jr. said. “This is Zack, Stu (Douglass) and Corey Person’s last season. Just thinking about that, you just want to give it all you got the rest of the season … just make a concerted effort to do the little things like rebound, take charges and play great defense.”

Added Novak: “We’re trying to get our guy going — we all got a ton of faith in him.

“The longer this little slump goes, we just know that at the end of the year he’s going to make up for it.”

Junior guard Matt Vogrich, on the other hand, was able to snap out of his recent shooting funk, knocking down three-straight triples late in the game to ice the contest. It was the first time he’s registered a 3-point bucket since the Wolverines beat Northwestern on Jan. 11.

Vogrich played a big role in the second-half turnaround — the team was a lights-out 76 percent from the field in the half.

Despite Nebraska’s obvious shooting struggles, some credit has to be given to the Michigan defense, which allowed the fewest points since allowing just 41 to Wisconsin at Crisler Center on Jan. 8.

“It was really big,” Novak said. “We really didn’t want to let any offensive woes dictate what we were doing on defense, and I was proud that we didn’t do that today.”

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