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01/03/2013 10:16 PM EST
Burke, Hardaway lead Michigan past Wildcats, 94-66
MICHIGAN 94, NORTHWESTERN 66

By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) -- No matter how many wins Michigan piles up,
Trey Burke insisted one thing will not change. The Wolverines
will keep seeing themselves as underdogs, even after nights like
this.

Burke scored 23 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. added 21 and No. 2
Michigan pounded Northwestern 94-66 on Thursday to remain
unbeaten.

Off to their best start since they opened the 1985-86 season
with 16 wins, the Wolverines (14-0, 1-0) had no trouble in the
Big Ten opener after breezing through the non-conference portion
of their schedule.

They built a 21-point halftime lead with Burke and Hardaway Jr.
leading the way and were never challenged by Northwestern (9-5,
0-1).

"14-0 that's a great start - and 1-0 in the Big Ten - but we've
got to keep the attitude where guys are still doubting us,"
Burke said.

He'll get no argument from his coach.

"We're always working that way, like we're hunting all the time
and we don't ever want to lose that," John Beilein said. "It's
not a negative to always be working."

Michigan shot 59.6 percent overall and made 13 of 22 3-point
attempts with the two guards doing most of the damage. Burke
shot 9 of 16 overall and hit 4 of 6 3-pointers. Hardaway was 6
of 8 from the field and 4 of 5 from long range, and the ankle
injury that kept him out of the previous game didn't seem to be
an issue.

"Just to see him back out there after his injury," Burke said.
"Back in action. Back in the groove. It was great."

Jordan Morgan added 12 points and 13 rebounds for the
Wolverines, while Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas scored 10
points apiece.

Jared Swopshire and Kale Abrahamson each scored 11 points for
Northwestern, but the Wildcats gave up the most points they have
allowed this season while being outclassed by one of the
nation's best teams.

"Eventually, we've got to start doing things that the coaches
get on us about," guard Dave Sobolewski said. "We keep messing
up the same things in the 1-3-1. We keep missing assignments. We
keep falling asleep on defense. A lot of it will come down to
heart and how bad we want it on defense mainly, too."

It was a sharp contrast from their two meetings last season,
when Michigan needed overtime to win both games.

Then again, the Wildcats were short-handed.

Besides suspending guard JerShon Cobb for the season for
violating team policy, they also shut down one of their best
players, Drew Crawford, for the remainder of the season last
month because of a shoulder injury.

Leading scorer Reggie Hearn sat out his second straight game
because of a sprained ankle.

Even so, Michigan wasn't showing any mercy. Instead, the
Wolverines ended the suspense early.

Burke, averaging a team-leading 17.8 points coming in, scored 15
in the first half. Hardaway added 12 points, hitting all four
3s, and Michigan barely broke a sweat before taking a 51-30
halftime lead.

"I guess that's what happens when you're running the fastbreaks
and getting easy baskets. It all comes off of defensive stops,"
Hardaway said.

Burke did his best to bury Northwestern almost as soon as the
game started.

The sophomore guard scored 13 straight points for Michigan to
help the Wolverines grab a 20-4 lead.

"He's got a presence out there," Beilein said. "He's got a great
ability to know when he can score and when he can find other
people."

Hardaway got going midway through the half, making consecutive
3-pointers that made it 33-13 and drew an "M Go Blue! M Go
Blue!" chant from the maize-and-blue contingent in the stands.

He struck again from the outside on consecutive possessions
later in the half. And Burke wowed the crowd in the closing
minutes when he laid the ball in after a nasty crossover.

For Northwestern fans, there was little to cheer in the early
going other than when football coach Pat Fitzgerald addressed
the crowd on the heels of his team's Gator Bowl victory.

"Coach told us to be aggressive," Burke said. "Don't be timid
against the zone. Attack it so you can get good shots."

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