BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Apparently, all Michigan needed to right itself Wednesday night was a different rim.

With the long-range shooters off, the Wolverines defense struggling and Indiana playing like a team intent on defending its home court in the first half, the Wolverines got the break they needed at halftime.

They changed ends.

Michigan took advantage of what it perceived as softer iron, rallying from a 20-point second-half deficit to force overtime and pull away for a 72-66 victory — the Wolverines’ first win in Bloomington since 1995.

“No excuses, but the first half rim was real hard so as soon as it hit, it’s got to go straight in or it’s going to come off hard,” Michigan’s Manny Harris said. “In the second half, the rim was kind of looser.”

The coaches offered different explanations.

John Beilein, the Michigan coach, credited his team for sticking to the game plan, improving its defense and continuing to fight. Indiana coach Tom Crean contended his team simply didn’t defend as well over the final 25 minutes as it did the first 20.

Whatever the reason, it was the same result for the weary Hoosiers (5-9).

They’ve now lost five straight overall and seven of their last eight. They blew a 20-point lead for the second time in 10 days and have now lost three straight at Assembly Hall for the first time since December 2004. Even worse, they are 0-2 in Big Ten play for the first time since 1997-98.

But until Wednesday, Michigan (12-3, 2-1) hadn’t won in Bloomington since snapping the Hoosiers’ long winning streak back in the mid-1990s.

And now they’ve created one of the most memorable comebacks in school history, too.

Laval Lucas-Perry led Michigan with 18 points, including a 3-pointer that tied the score with 23.4 seconds left in regulation and another 3 in overtime that finally gave Michigan a five-point lead.

Harris, the Big Ten’s top scorer, added 17 points including the 3 that got Michigan within a basket with 43.8 seconds left in regulation, and DeShawn Sims added 14 points before fouling out.

“Honestly, the rim we were shooting on (in the first half) was very hard,” Sims said. “In the second half, we got the (softer) rim and that gave us the edge.”

The disparity in shooting percentages certainly reflected a difference.

Michigan was 3-of-18 on 3s at halftime, while going 9-of-22 over the final 25 minutes.

Indiana, which shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, shot just 36 percent in the second half.

But Crean, never one to criticize his young, undermanned team too strongly in public or blame losses on things out of his control, acknowledged his team must figure out how to close out games.

“We’ve still got to learn how to play 40 minutes of basketball, 40 minutes of defense and what it’s all about,” Crean said. “We have to learn to rebound better, but we are improving. I see it, but I don’t know if you see it.”

Devan Dumes led the Hoosiers with 17 points but made a poor decision with about a minute left when he tried to score on a breakaway layup rather than pulling the ball out to run out the clock, which allowed Michigan to tie. Nick Williams added 14 points and Verdell Jones had 13.

For a while, it appeared the Hoosiers three-man tandem had Michigan on the ropes.

Indiana used an 18-2 first-half run to build a 23-8 lead, extended the margin to 32-16 late in the first half and still led 39-22 at the half. Less than two minutes into the second half, Michigan found itself in a 44-24 deficit.

But instead of collapsing, the Wolverines charged back.

Harris’ 3-pointer sparked an 11-0 run that got the Wolverines within 48-41 with 11:59 to go, and Sims’ 5-footer ignited a 7-0 run that made it 55-51 with 3:28 left in the midst of a 5:20 scoring drought for the Hoosiers.

Michigan finally tied on back-to-back 3s from Harris and Lucas-Perry in the final minute.

In overtime, Kelvin Grady broke the tie with a 3 and Lucas-Perry followed that with another 3 to make it 65-60 with 2:40 left.

The Hoosiers only got as close as two the rest of the way, thanks primarily to their struggles at the free-throw line.

“We just weren’t quite as good defensively in the second half and overtime, and they made some big shots,” Crean said. “Everyone in that locker room wishes we could have been a little better defensively.”

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