ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Wolverines dominate Nebraska in final home tilt.

 

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN – FEBRUARY 28: Head coach John Beilein of the Michigan Wolverines look on while playing the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Crisler Arena on February 28, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

For the first time all season, Michigan needed to change its starting lineup.

The Wolverines didn’t miss a beat.

 

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN – FEBRUARY 28: Jon Teske #15 of the Michigan Wolverines takes a first half shot past Isaiah Roby #15 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the first half at Crisler Arena on February 28, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

Jon Teske scored a career-high 22 points, and No. 9 Michigan easily rebounded from its loss to Michigan State with an 82-53 victory over Nebraska on Thursday night. The Wolverines were without Charles Matthews, out with a right ankle injury, but Isaiah Livers replaced him in the starting lineup and had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

“Charles, he does a lot of great things. I tried to replace him as best I could,” Livers said. “Trying to grab 50-50 balls, just knock the open shots and go dunk on people’s heads — that’s Charles Matthews’ game.”

 

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN – FEBRUARY 28: Isaiah Livers #4 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts while playing the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Crisler Arena on February 28, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

Livers started 22 games last season as a freshman, but this season, Michigan’s starting five for its first 28 games was Matthews, Teske, Iggy Brazdeikis, Jordan Poole and Zavier Simpson. That finally changed because of the injury to the 6-foot-6 Matthews, who had a boot on the injured ankle. Coach John Beilein didn’t give any details on Matthews’ prognosis.

The Wolverines (25-4, 14-4 Big Ten) raced out to a 22-point halftime lead behind Teske and Brazdeikis. It was the last home game for Michigan, which finishes the regular season with trips to Maryland and Michigan State.

 

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN – FEBRUARY 28: Ignas Brazdeikis #13 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts after second half three point basket while playing the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Crisler Arena on February 28, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

The Wolverines lost only once at home in 2018-19 — 77-70 to Michigan State on Sunday. That dropped Michigan a game behind the Spartans in the Big Ten title race, but the Wolverines still look formidable — and they weren’t about to slip up against a struggling Nebraska team.

“If they’re going to play for a conference championship, you can’t lose at home — certainly can’t lose at home to a 10th-place team,” Cornhuskers coach Tim Miles said. “I think that just making shots early deflated our guys, but this is not a league to feel sorry for yourself.”

 

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN – FEBRUARY 28: Head coach Tim Miles of the Nebraska Cornhuskers looks on while playing the Michigan Wolverines at Crisler Arena on February 28, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

Brazdeikis went down holding his left knee near the end of the first half, but he walked off without assistance and was back at the beginning of the second. He finished with 20 points.

Nana Akenten scored 11 points for Nebraska (15-14, 5-13).

BIG PICTURE

Nebraska: The Cornhuskers nearly shook up the conference title race when they played Purdue tough over the weekend but lost by three. They put up little resistance against Michigan. James Palmer, Nebraska’s leading scorer, was held to a season-low seven points.

“Obviously the wins aren’t there and we’ve been racking up a lot of losses, but give credit to the teams we’ve played,” forward Tanner Borchardt said.

Michigan: When Brazdeikis is shooting well, the Wolverines are tough to beat because they don’t need as much scoring from Teske or Simpson. And when Teske is also contributing — the 7-foot-1 center made all three of his 3-point attempts Thursday — that’s an additional bonus.

HONORED

Michigan honored Matthews on senior night. He has a year of eligibility left but is a candidate to leave early for the NBA.

 

SAN ANTONIO, TX – MARCH 31: Charles Matthews #1 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts after a basket in the second half against the Loyola Ramblers during the 2018 NCAA Men’s Final Four Semifinal at the Alamodome on March 31, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

 

“He’s one of the best kids I’ve ever coached,” Beilein said. “He’s a Kentucky transfer, and he just came in here and he just bought in a hundred percent.”

Matthews, who has played two seasons at Michigan, briefly addressed the crowd after the game, expressing his appreciation.

RESERVES

 

 

Michigan went deep into its bench in this blowout win. Freshman Colin Castleton scored 11 points in 9:09. He’d scored six points all season before Thursday.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Michigan took care of business while short-handed, but its next matchup this week is the more intriguing game.

UP NEXT

Nebraska: The Cornhuskers will try one more time to be a spoiler in the race for first place, playing at No. 6 Michigan State on Tuesday night.

Michigan: The Wolverines play at No. 17 Maryland on Sunday.

SUNDAY ON CBS62

Michigan takes on Maryland, Sunday at 3:30pm on CBS62

 

 

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