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Northwestern basketball outmatched in record-tying 94-66 loss to No. 2 Michigan

NU’s Dave Sobolewski (left) Alex Marcotullio are feeling effects depleted roster. | Nam Y. Huh~AP

NU’s Dave Sobolewski (left) and Alex Marcotullio are feeling the effects of a depleted roster. | Nam Y. Huh~AP

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Updated: January 3, 2013 8:54PM

Michigan led 10-0 and 30-13 in the first half but the talent discrepancy between the No. 2 Wolverines and Northwestern was obvious long before that.

Michigan has three likely future NBA players in it’s rotation while injuries have so depleted the Wildcats that backup guard Alex Marcotullio, a senior with only 13 career starts, was the last starter introduced for Northwestern.

It was no surprise, then, that preseason all-American point guard Trey Burke and the Wolverines dominated from the opening tip, cruising to a 94-66 win at sold-out Welsh-Ryan Arena on Thursday night.

Michigan’s 94 points tied the NU record for the most allowed during coach Bill Carmody’s 13-year tenure as coach.

“We might have to change the way we play,” Carmody said. “Slow it down a little bit. The last four or five years we’ve gone up and down the court scoring a lot. We had a lot of drills where we shot the ball quickly because we could do that but now that’s not the case. I’m going to have to do something about that.”

Carmody wondered where offense would come from with leading scorer Drew Crawford (shoulder) out for the season and second-leading scorer Reggie Hearn (ankle) sidelined with a twisted ankle, but it was quickly apparent that the ‘Cats (9-5 overall, 0-1 Big Ten) didn’t have any answers defensively, either.

The Wolverines (14-0, 1-0) scored on their first nine possessions, made their first five 3-pointers and scored more points in the first half (51) than Northwestern has allowed in four games this season.

Michigan shot 59.6 from the field and 59.1 from beyond the arc.

“We have to compete and in that first half I didn’t feel like we competed for the first 10 minutes or so,” Marcotullio said.

Jared Swopshire and Kale Abrahamson scored 11 apiece for NU while Alex Olah scored all 10 of his points in the first half.

Michigan had five players score in double figures, including Burke, who had 23, and remained effective after Northwestern switched to a 1-3-1 defense to contain him. Tim Hardaway Jr., who had 21.

“He’s a good player,” NU point guard Dave Sobolewski said of Burke. “That’s why everybody is talking about him being one of the front- runners for Player of the Year. He does a lot of things to make his teammates better. There’s not one thing you can take away from him because he can do everything.”

Reggie Hearn had not practiced since injuring his ankle in a loss to Stanford on Dec. 21 but felt good enough to warm-up in an attempt to give Carmody some minutes. But it was quickly apparent that Hearn wouldn’t be the difference so he remained on the bench. He could return for Sunday’s game at No. 9 Minnesota.

Northwestern was also without Sanjay Lumpkin, who injured his wrist in practice on Dec. 28. The freshman was scheduled to undergo additional tests Friday before a diagnosis is made.

Lumpkin will redshirt if his injury ends his season.

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