Zavier Simpson is Michigan’s gritty point guard, and Jon Teske is the 7-foot-1 center. Together, they anchor the Wolverines’ stellar defense.
When they suddenly start making 3-pointers as well, there’s not much an opponent can do.
Simpson scored a career-high 24 points and Teske tied a career high with 17, leading No. 2 Michigan to an 80-60 victory over Northwestern on Sunday night at Ann Arbor, Mich. Simpson made five 3-pointers and Teske made three. With the victory, the Wolverines are off to their best start in program history.
Michigan (17-0, 6-0 Big Ten) started 16-0 on two previous occasions, including once before under coach John Beilein, in 2012-13.
“We’ve had some great teams, and I hate comparing great to great,” Beilein said. “But I do say that this team has the capacity — if we get that out of those two, I wouldn’t like to guard that.”
Before Sunday, Teske had made five 3-pointers in 77 games at Michigan. Simpson had shot 28 percent beyond the arc over his 2½ seasons with the Wolverines. They made eight of Michigan’s 11 3-pointers on Sunday.
“We were going to live with some Simpson 3s and some Teske 3s,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. “Give those guys credit.”
Northwestern (10-7, 1-5) was without leading scorer Vic Law, who was out with a lower-body injury. The Wildcats lost by two to the Wolverines last month — one of only two Michigan games this season decided by single digits — but this one was no contest.
Simpson’s hook shot off the glass gave the Wolverines an early 10-0 lead, and although Northwestern quickly battled back to within two, the game didn’t stay close for long. Michigan made 13 of its final 16 shots from the field in the first half and led 50-28 at halftime.
Dererk Pardon scored 20 points for Northwestern.
The Wolverines have matched the longest winning streak in school history. They won 17 in a row in 1985 before losing in the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan and Virginia are the only unbeaten teams remaining in Division I.
NO. 6 MICHIGAN STATE 71, PENN STATE 56: Nick Ward had 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead Michigan State past Penn State at State College, Pa.
Matt McQuaid added 15 points and Cassius Winston chipped in 11 for the Spartans (15-2, 6-0 Big Ten), who have won 10 straight. They also beat the Nittany Lions (7-10, 0-6) for the 10th consecutive time.
Kenny Goins added 10 rebounds for the Spartans, who only trailed for 10 seconds and led by as many as 21 with 6:44 to play.
Lamar Stevens led Penn State (7-10, 0-6) with 20 points. Myles Dread, Josh Reaves and Mike Watkins all scored 11 points.
NO. 1 NOTRE DAME 78, WAKE FOREST 48: Marina Mabrey scored 18 points and No. 1 Notre Dame dominated from start to finish at South Bend, Ind.
Jessica Shepard had 16 points while Brianna Turner had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Fighting Irish (16-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who got a rare off-day from leading scorer Arike Ogunbowale. Ogunbowale, who had 30 points Thursday in Notre Dame’s 82-68 win over No. 2 Louisville, saw her 37-game double-digit scoring streak end. She scored just four points on 1-of-11 shooting from the field.
But roommate Mabrey hit 7 of 11 shots, including 4 of 7 3-pointers, and had seven rebounds and four assists. Shepard finished with six rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Christina Morra scored 13 points and Ivana Raca had 12 for the Demon Deacons (9-7, 0-3).
No. 2 LOUISVILLE 61, GEORGIA TECH 44: Asia Durr scored 21 points and Louisville bounced back nicely from its first loss of the season, topping Georgia Tech at Louisville.
The Cardinals (15-1, 3-1 ACC) shot 38 percent from the field in Thursday’s 82-68 loss at top-ranked Notre Dame. But they put together a fast start against Georgia Tech and then used their defense to put away the Yellow Jackets (12-5, 2-2) after they made a charge in the third quarter.
NO. 3 UCONN 63, SOUTH FLORIDA 46: Katie Lou Samuelson scored 19 points to reach the 2,000-point milestone and UConn overcame a sluggish start to beat South Florida at Storrs, Conn.
Megan Walker added 14 points and Napheesa Collier had 12 for the Huskies (14-1, 3-0 American), who have never suffered a conference loss in the AAC.
Samuelson is the 10th UConn player to reach 2,000 points.
No. 5 OREGON 72, UCLA 52: Ruthy Hebard had 19 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, Satou Sabally added 19 points and Oregon routed UCLA at Los Angeles for its eighth straight victory.
Hebard’s double-double was her fourth in six career games against the Bruins (9-8, 2-3 Pac-12), who dropped their fifth in a row to the Ducks (15-1, 4-0).
No. 6 STANFORD 78, ARIZONA 48: Alanna Smith scored 20 points, DiJonai Carrington added 19 and Stanford rolled past Arizona at Tucson, Ariz., to complete a two-game Pac-12 road sweep in the desert.
Smith made four of six 3-pointers and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Cardinal, who turned the game into a rout with a 27-0 run at the end of the first half and the start of the second.
Arizona’s Aari McDonald, who entered the game as the nation’s leading scorer at 26 points per game, scored 17 but was just 6 of 22 from the field and 0 for 6 from 3-point range.
Stanford (14-1, 4-0 Pac-12), meanwhile, shot 44 percent and was 13 of 31 on 3s. Arizona is 13-3 and 3-2.
No. 8 N.C. STATE 66, VIRGINIA 38: Erika Cassell had 15 points and 10 rebounds at Charlottesville, Va., and North Carolina State remained the only unbeaten Division I women’s team with a victory over Virginia.
Kiara Leslie added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolfpack (17-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference). Kai Crutchfield and Elissa Cunane each scored 11.
North Carolina State started the second quarter with a 15-3 run to open a 31-13 lead. Cassell, who was averaging 5.9 points coming into the day, had nine points during the key sequence.
Jocelyn Willoughby led Virginia (7-10, 1-3) with 15 points.
No. 10 OREGON STATE 76, USC 52: Mikayla Pivec scored 19 of her 21 points in the second half and Oregon State routed USC at Los Angeles.
Maddie Washington added 19 points and Aleah Goodman had 17, matching a career-high with five 3-pointers, for the Beavers (13-2, 4-0 Pac 12). Oregon state led by five when it took command by closing the third quarter with a 19-2 run. The Beavers held the Trojans (10-6, 0-5) to just 17.6 percent shooting (3 of 17) in the period.
No. 15 MARQUETTE 72, GEORGETOWN 62: Natisha Hiedeman scored 20 points with 10 rebounds, Erika Davenport also had a double-double and Marquette held off Georgetown in Washington.
Hiedeman had five points in an 8-0 run that gave the Golden Eagles (14-3, 4-0 Big East) a 68-60 lead with 35 seconds left. The Hoyas (8-9, 2-4) missed their last 10 shots, making just two free throws in the last five minutes.
Davenport had 10 points and 10 rebounds, Danielle King went 12 of 14 from the foul line for 16 points and Selena Lott had 12 points for Marquette.