Michigan 80, Indiana 75
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) _ Michigan shook off the effects of a potential tragic auto accident as Albert White and Maceo Baston, two players who weren’t involved, led the Wolverines to an 80-75 victory over Indiana on Sunday.
White scored 21 points while Baston had 18 points and 13 rebounds for the struggling Wolverines (16-9, 6-6 Big Ten) who kept their hopes alive for an NCAA tournament berth.
Five Michigan players, plus a highly touted recruit, escaped serious injury early Saturday during a rollover accident as they returned from a party in Detroit.
The 1996 Ford Explorer, driven by Maurice Taylor, flipped after Taylor apparently fell asleep. Police said alcohol was not a factor. Also in the vehicle were Willie Mitchell, Robert Traylor, Louis Bullock, all starters, and Ron Oliver.
The most serious injury was Traylor’s broken arm, which ended the 320-pound freshman’s season. Traylor, still recovering from surgery at University of Michigan Hospital, was unable to attend the Indiana game.
The recruit, Mateen Cleaves, a 6-foot-2 guard who led Flint Northern to the Class A state championship last season, sat with his mother behind the Michigan bench.
Taylor scored 13 points before fouling out with 6:53 left in the game. Bullock scored 11 and Mitchell four. Oliver, a walk-on reserve, played briefly but didn’t score.
Brian Evans had 22 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana (15-10, 8-5). Charlie Miller added 15 while Haris Mujezinovic and Robbie Eggers each scored 12 for the Hoosiers who committed 15 turnovers.
The Hoosiers, who trailed 37-29 at halftime, got seven points from Evans as they opened the second half with a 17-8 burst. A basket by Richard Mandeville gave Indiana a 46-45 lead with 14:06 remaining.
But the Wolverines regained the lead on two free throws by Bullock with 13:28 left, and Michigan led the rest of the way. The Wolverines led 75-65 with 53 seconds remaining.
With Taylor and White each scoring seven points, the Wolverines stormed to a 29-10 lead with 7:34 left in the first half. But the Hoosiers outscored Michigan 19-8 the rest of the way, cutting the Wolverines’ lead to 37-29 at halftime.
The Indiana rally was triggered by a technical against Michigan coach Steve Fisher, who protested a call that gave Taylor his second foul. Taylor scored 13 points before fouling out with 6:53 left in the game.
Evans turned Fisher’s tirade into a four-point play, hitting two free throws from the technical and two for Taylor’s foul. Miller, Reed and Eggers all hit 3-point shots during the Indiana burst.
Indiana coach Bob Knight received a technical earlier in the first half.
Michigan desperately needed a win to keep its NCAA tournament hopes alive. The Wolverines, who have earned an NCAA berth each season since 1991, had lost five of their previous six. The win also averted Michigan’s first three-game home losing streak since 1983.
The Hoosiers defeated Michigan 99-83 on Jan. 23 in Bloomington.