|#2 Michigan (18-1, 5-1)||32||36||68|
|Purdue (10-9, 3-3)||33||20||53|
With Duke’s blowout loss to Miami on Wednesday night, Michigan found itself in the drivers’ seat for the No.1 ranking once again. But two games stood between Michigan and that elusive top spot that the Maize and Blue hasn’t seen since 1992. The first of those was tonight against Purdue and Michigan turned a one-point halftime deficit into a 15-point victory.
The Boilermakers started the game with some uncharacteristic hot shooting from three-point range, hitting four of them in the first five minutes of the game to break out to a 16-9 lead. Following a basket by Trey Burke and a three by Tim Hardaway Jr., Purdue drained another three heading into the under-12 timeout. For the rest of the half, the teams traded baskets, neither pulling away by more than three, and Purdue took a 33-32 lead into the half.
The second half was a much different story. For the first five minutes, Purdue held strong, but Michigan decided it was time to turn it on. A Glenn Robinson III three-pointer gave Michigan the lead and started a 10-0 run before Purdue could get back on the board after five scoreless minutes. The Boilers cut the lead to five with 6:18 to play, but it was as close as they would get. A Nik Stauskas three, followed by a pair of Mitch McGary buckets put Michigan back ahead by double-digits, and the Wolverines cruised the rest of the way.
The Michigan starters contributed balanced scoring, as opposed to the Burke and Hardaway show that the Wolverines have used for much of the season. Burke led the way with 15 points and eight assists. Hardaway added 13 points, while Stauskas and Robinson each scored 12. Robinson fell one rebound short of a double-double. McGary and Morgan each scored six points, but they seemed to come at important points in the game.
As a team, Michigan shot 49.1 percent, while holding Purdue to 38.9 percent. After hitting 7-of-13 three-point attempts in the first half, Purdue missed all nine attempts in the second. Michigan out-rebounded Purdue 35-29, holding the Boilers 12 below their season average.
On Sunday, Michigan travels to Champaign to battle Illinois (15-5, 2-4) with the nation’s top spot on the line. The Illini beat Nebraska on Tuesday to end a three-game skid.
|Final Game Stats|
|01||Glenn Robinson III*||4-6||2-3||2-2||2||7||9||1||12||1||0||0||0||37|
|10||Tim Hardaway Jr.*||5-9||3-5||0-0||0||4||4||3||13||1||3||2||1||36|