ANN ARBOR, Mich. — 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. Simpson made five 3-pointers and Teske made three. With the win, 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
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Nick Ward had 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead Michigan State past Penn State.
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.