No. 2 Michigan overcomes miscues, uses late rally to fend off scrappy Purdue, 68-53
ANN ARBOR -- Purdue wanted to play ugly Thursday, and for most night, Michigan obliged.
The Wolverines trailed at halftime at home for the first time this season, couldn't defend the long ball early, had one heck of a time seizing any type of momentum and turned the ball over too much.
Yet, they still won.
Trey Burke finished with 15 points and 8 assists and Glenn Robinson III added 12 points and 9 rebounds as the second-ranked Wolverines pushed by Purdue, 68-53, at Crisler Center.
The win pushes Michigan to 18-1 on the season, 5-1 in Big Ten play -- and keeps the Wolverines in a three-team cluster of one-loss teams toward the top of the Big Ten standings.
Michigan State (17-3, 6-1) leads by a half game, and will play Indiana (17-2, 5-1) on Sunday.
But unlike most of Michigan's 18 wins this season, this one didn't come easy.
Purdue scrapped its way to a one-point edge at the break, and held onto that lead five minutes into the second half.
But two corner 3-pointers from Robinson -- whose father once starred at Purdue -- sparked a 10-0 second-half run, pushing the Wolverines in front 49-40 with 11:55 to go.
The Wolverines' lead grew to 11, but Purdue scrapped back, drawing within five after a Rapheal Davis 3-point play with 6:18 left, but Michigan surged back up by as many as 14 after an extended 11-2 run, highlighted by a breakaway jam from Mitch McGary.
Nik Stauskas finished with 12 points on 4 of 9 shooting, and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 13 points for the Wolverines.
In the second half, Michigan held Purdue to 0 of 9 from behind the 3-point line, 8 of 24 overall. Michigan finished with 10 turnovers, 6 in the first half alone.
-- Robinson was big time against his father's old team, providing Michigan with its best inside presence on the glass all night long. And his two key 3-pointers in the second half keyed a 10-0 run that put the Wolverines up for good.
-- Michigan actually held its own on the glass against Purdue, which entered the game as the Big Ten's top offensive rebounding team. Michigan won the offensive rebounding battle 12-11.
-- Jon Horford saw extended minutes for the first time since injuring his knee last month against West Virginia. The sophomore forward finished with 2 points and 3 rebounds in 8 productive minutes.
-- Purdue out-scrapped Michigan, in basically every way during the first half. The Boilermakers scored 7 points off turnovers, and had 8 points off second-chance opportunities to give Michigan just its third halftime deficit of the season.
-- 3-point defense was an issue again early in this one, even if it was better late. Minnesota shot the lights out from long range against the Wolverines last week, the Boilermakers went 7 of 13 from deep during the first half alone Thursday.
-- Jordan Morgan finished with 6 points and 5 rebounds, but really seemed to struggle to score against contact inside. Morgan went 3 of 6 from the floor, and all of his misses were layups.
ISSUE OF THE DAY REVISITED
Purdue spoiled Michigan's home record last season, but it won't be the team to do it this season.
The Boilermakers were scrappy and made Michigan earn every inch, but in the end, Michigan did what it's supposed to.
Can you remember an uglier 15-point Michigan win? Big Ten basketball, I guess.
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