Michigan coach Juwan Howard put the emphasis on protection from the primary time his whole crew practiced this season.
It paid massive dividends Friday evening.
On an evening Isaiah Livers matched his season excessive with 22 factors and Eli Brooks added 11, the seventh-ranked Wolverines used a staunch protection to drag away from Purdue 70-53.
“All of them did a terrific job. It was not simple as a result of Trevion (Williams) is without doubt one of the finest bigs on this convention and in addition among the best within the nation,” Howard stated when requested particularly about Michigan’s put up play. “I do know tomorrow they’re going to get up sore as a result of they earned it. This was an old-school, Massive Ten sort of sport. The Massive Ten has all the time been a bodily convention and tonight’s sport was actually about physicality.”
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By profitable their fifth straight within the collection, the Wolverines (13-1, Eight-1 Massive Ten) maintained their stranglehold on the convention lead.
However this one got here with some trepidation after Purdue’s prime Three-point shooter, Sasha Stefanovic, examined optimistic for COVID-19. A second take a look at Wednesday confirmed the preliminary consequence.
Boilermakers coach Matt Painter defined that the crew’s protocols required Stefanovic to put on a masks on their bus journey and airplane experience again from Ohio State earlier this week and that the senior guard was not round anybody else after he returned to campus. No different gamers examined optimistic and after Howard stated he spoke along with his gamers individually, the sport was performed.
Livers, for one, stated he had was nervous about taking part in — till being informed of the precautions Purdue took.
And with out Stefanovic on the perimeter, the Wolverines took full benefit by packing it in and daring Purdue to win from the perimeter.
Whereas Trevion Williams led the Boilermakers with 14 factors and 11 rebounds, he did not have sufficient assist from the supporting forged as Purdue’s four-game profitable streak ended. The Boilermakers (11-6, 5-Four) shot simply 32.1% and missed all six Three-point makes an attempt within the first half as Michigan jumped to a 34-21 lead.
“We didn’t have nice guard play tonight. It wasn’t like our inside guys performed effectively, both,” Painter stated. “However we did not have good guard play. We had 14 turnovers and it felt prefer it was 24.”
Purdue made its first two 3s within the second half and shortly minimize the deficit to 42-Three, however the Wolverines answered with six straight factors and by no means allowed the Boilermakers to get shut once more.
Michigan: Sure, the Wolverines have one of many nation’s highest-scoring offenses. However when Michigan’s shooters have an off-night, their protection is greater than able to having an impression. It is a mixture few groups possess — and a motive the Wolverines are a reputable Last 4 contender.
Purdue: Whereas the Boilermakers had been the Massive Ten’s hottest crew, they sputtered with out Stefanovic. Massive Ten protocols will pressure Stefanovic out of at the least the following two video games, and coach Matt Painter must discover a answer — quick.
With wins over Maryland and at Purdue this week, the Wolverines will not go wherever however up within the High 25. The larger query is whether or not latest wins at Michigan State, Ohio State and Indiana can be sufficient to propel the Boilermakers into the rankings for the primary time all season.
Michigan: Livers has had six straight video games in double figures. He additionally had 10 rebounds and three assists… The Wolverines allowed a season-low 21 factors within the first half, two fewer than Wisconsin scored earlier this month and held Purdue to its lowest general level complete at dwelling this season.
Purdue: Williams has 12 straight double-doubles. … Williams, Eric Hunter Jr. and Jaden Ivey have been the one gamers to make greater than two baskets. … The Boilermakers fell to 6-1 at dwelling this season although they’ve have performed extra video games than some other Energy 5 faculty.
Ivey changed Stefanovic within the lineup and had 12 factors, 5 rebounds and 5 assists however was nowhere close to as environment friendly as Stefanovic. Ivey was Three of 14 from the sphere, zero for five on 3s and had three turnovers.
Michigan: Takes an eight-day break earlier than internet hosting Indiana subsequent Saturday.
Purdue: Completes a two-game homestand subsequent Saturday towards No. 17 Minnesota.