You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 8:46 p.m.

Purdue's 75-61 win spoils Michigan basketball team's bid for a perfect home record and likely its Big Ten title chances

By Nick Baumgardner


Michigan senior captain Zack Novak, center, stares at the floor in the closing minutes of his final game at the Crisler Center. Purdue won, 75-61.

Chris Asadian |

Updated 8:46 p.m.

For the Michigan basketball team, Saturday started with plenty of emotion, smiles and hugs.

But it ended with a thud.

Purdue guard Terone Johnson scored a game-high 22 points as the Boilermakers not only spoiled No. 11 Michigan's senior night, but also ruined the Wolverines' bid at their first perfect home record in 35 years and possibly the program's first Big Ten title in 26 years with a 75-61 win at Crisler Center.

"There's an element of embarrassment from being honored like that and then coming out and getting killed on your home court," said Michigan senior co-captain Stu Douglass after his final home game. "There's no sentimental emotions, just more upset than anything."

The loss was Michigan's first home setback since losing to Wisconsin on Feb. 23, 2011, giving the Wolverines a 15-1 mark at home this season.


Nick Baumgardner’s recap:

Senior night blues
So much for a senior night to remember, and perhaps, so much for a Big Ten championship. Michigan spent the entire game fighting from behind, leading for just 49 seconds, as Purdue (19-10, 9-5) wrecked its perfect home record. The loss dropped the Wolverines (21-8, 11-5) into third place in the Big Ten standings with just two games remaining. Michigan finishes its home schedule 15-1.

Tough final act
Michigan co-captains Zack Novak and Stu Douglass were joined by fellow seniors Ben Cronin and Corey Person for senior night festivities prior to tipoff before ending their Crisler Center careers in disappointment. Novak went scoreless in the first half before dropping in 12 second-half points. Douglass finished with seven points, four rebounds and five assists.

Coughing it up
Neither Michigan freshman point guard Trey Burke nor sophomore wing Tim Hardaway Jr. looked completely comfortable Saturday. Burke finished with 12 points and Hardaway with 10, but they committed four turnovers apiece.

"There's an element of embarrassment from being honored like that and then coming out and getting killed on your home court. There's no sentimental emotions, just more upset than anything."
Michigan senior guard Stu Douglass


Photo gallery

Notebook: Defensive collapses haunt Michigan in loss to Purdue, and more notes

Video highlights of Michigan basketball team's senior day festivities

Boxscore | Top 25 scores | Big Ten scores

Additionally, Michigan may have seen its shot at a Big Ten championship vanish, as the loss dropped the Wolverines (21-8, 11-5 Big Ten) back into third place in the league standings with just two games remaining.

With Michigan State's 62-34 win over Nebraska on Saturday, the Wolverines are now two games back of the first-place Spartans with just two left to play.

Prior to tip, Michigan honored seniors Douglass, Zack Novak, Corey Person and Ben Cronin.

But there would be no signature farewell moment for the Wolverine seniors. Michigan coach John Beilein pulled Douglass and Novak in the game's final minutes -- with the team trailing by double digits.

"Senior nights are weird, everybody's kind of up before the game more than normal and sometimes you get to the game and you're a little gassed," Novak said. "I don't think that was a huge thing tonight, we just missed some easy ones.

"We dug ourselves in a hole and they really executed."

Novak finished with 12 points -- all in the second half -- on 4-for-11 shooting, while Douglass ended his final game at the Crisler Center with seven points, four rebounds and five assists.

Freshman point guard Trey Burke had 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting, but also committed four turnovers. Sophomore Tim Hardaway Jr. had 10, but also had four turnovers.

Purdue senior Robbie Hummel finished with 17 points and nine rebounds for the Boilermakers (19-10, 9-7).

"I think we're being a little bit more unselfish and making the extra pass (right now)," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "Michigan had a couple shots that they normally make that didn't go in, and we made a couple plays and a couple shots.

"Sometimes you're fortunate."

After the pregame senior night festivities ended, the Wolverines began the game in a funk.

Michigan opened the game 1-for-8 from the floor, and Purdue took advantage, jumping out to a 12-2 start before a Lewis Jackson triple made it 22-11 Boilermakers midway through the frame.

The Wolverines eventually came to life, using a pair of 7-0 runs to draw within four before a late Burke triple made it 32-28 Boilermakers at the break.

Purdue extended its lead back out to eight early in the second, but Novak sparked Michigan's biggest run of the game with a deep triple, his first bucket of the game.

Michigan eventually pulled even for the first time after a pair of Burke free throws with 13:02 to go, and then took its first lead of the game when Burke found Jordan Morgan underneath for a layup, capping a 12-2 run and putting the Wolverines up 42-40 with 12:17 left.

The lead didn't last long, though, as Purdue responded with a 12-3 run of its own, moving back in front by seven after a Jackson layup made it 52-45.

It only got worse from there for Michigan, as back-to-back Hummel triples three minutes later put the Boilermakers back up 10 at 61-51 with 3:36 left.

Michigan got no closer, as the Boilers cruised over the final three minutes to score their best RPI win of the season.

Purdue out-scored Michigan 35-19 in during the game's final 12 minutes, finishing the game an even 50 percent (27-for-54) from the floor. Michigan shot 41.7 percent from the floor, and went 9-for-32 from 3-point range.

"We're disappointed because of the circumstances, we don't like losing ever, but 15-1 at home isn't a bad year," Beilein said. "We'll try it again next year, and do the best we can to, one of these years, go undefeated at home."

Michigan will close the regular season on the road with tilts at Illinois (Thursday) and at Penn State (Sunday) before prepping for the Big Ten Tournament.

As for the team's mental state after a deflating senior night loss?

Novak said he's not too worried about it.

"I don't think we needed a wakeup call, it's not like we came out and didn't play hard or had a poor week leading up," he said. "Some nights you don't have it, some nights the other team is spot on.

"I think that's what happened tonight."

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

Want to stay connected to Wolverine basketball in your Facebook newsfeed? “Like”'s Michigan Basketball News & Views.



Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 7:10 a.m.

Don't worry Michigan fans. Your coach won the NIT in 2007 and Michigan hired him a few days later. He went 40-40 in the Big East and is 41-46 in the Big 10. You're getting what you're paying for!


Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 7:07 a.m.

Attention Wal-Mart shoppers. Now offering 50% off on all "M" basketball merchandise! Same old Wolverines! Sparty unbeaten at home in football and basketball! Best record in BIG football. Best record in BIG basketball! "Hey Little Sister, what have you done?" - Billy Idol

Kevin Shabinski

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 9:33 p.m.

Wow, how quickly the UM faithful throw their team and coach under the bus. Can we say bandwagon fans? Like a bunch of jackals.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 11:38 p.m.

Speak for yourself.....I love this team and it's coaches!!!!


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

A smart coach with equally talented players can beat Michigan more than half of the time. Here's the formula used by Painter and the Virginia coach: neutralize Burke by double team or equally athletic guard, guard the perimeter so reduce the effectiveness of the 3pt shooters, and on offense drive to the basket and push the ball inside to your big man. The next time we play Illinois, their coach will make these adjustments and likely beat us soundly. Beilein can coach, we all know that, but his team lacks depth and talent. It shows ups when you come up against a smart coach.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.



Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

..too many missed open 3s and bunnies under the basket +purdue made everything (maybe they were encouraged by B-line wearing their colors, c'mon coach find something Maize and Blue for senior night).. The Wolverines need to clean up the negative emotion on the court..and make OPEN shots.. ill next.. Go Blue! v


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 4:14 p.m.

Calm down everyone. Purdue played really well and we didn't. These things happen, even to the best teams. Some of you are calling for Beilein's head and that's beyond ridiculous. He's a fantastic coach and this is a hell of a team. Point out all the flaws if you want but I'm too busy being excited about seeing Michigan in the Sweet 16. Remember, this team wasn't supposed to be this good. As far as I'm concerned, we're playing with house money. Next year is when the expectations will soar.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 11:37 p.m.

Right on!!!!!

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.



Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

Dissappointing loss yesterday. Not suprising. Michigan has really overachieved this year. With a freshman point guard running things, the need to depend on a sophmore for scoring, a smaller center who should be a forward and the lack of athleticism at many other postions, 21-8 and 11-5 in the Big Ten and 15-1 at home is nothing to be ashamed of. There are still two more games to play in the regular season, then onto the Big Ten and NCAA Championship games. The influx of talent for the Wolverines in the next two years should go a long way in alleviating both the whining of the Wolverine fans and the gloating of the Spartan fans, in both basketball and football. With all the new facility upgrades, along with many of the Wolverine athletic teams (not just the football and basketball teams) winning a ton of games, this trend should continue. There is much to look forward to for the Wolverines. Do not worry or gloat too much about this loss. The future is very bright for the Wolverines and very blue for the other teams. Go Blue!!!!


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 11:35 p.m.

Yeah, I am well aware of Izzo's roster and recruiting class. MSU and Izzo have a great program that I respect. However, my point is that this team is not UM's best team. The best is yet to come. The talent infusion coming for Michigan's Basketball team is going to make them competetive for years to come. The days when Michigan's Basketball team could be ignored are gone. That is something the other teams in the Big Ten are going to have to come to terms with. It would be absurd to suggest that UM is going to crush MSU in Basketball the way that MSU has done to UM over the past 20 years or so. However, MSU will no longer be able to laugh their way through a Michigan Basketball game. They will lose their share. Michigan is going to compete yearly and win their share of games, that is just the way it is now. Izzo, the Spartans and all the teams in the Big Ten will have to deal with it. It is going to make things way more fun and interesting!!! As for facilities, Spartan fans, coaches, and players have mocked UM facilities for years...they can't do that anymore either.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 5:32 p.m.

Did you make this comment before checking Izzo's current roster or recruiting class for next year? I'm not saying that U of M won't be better, but get real. As for facilities, have you seen what Nebraska basketball has? Facilities do not guarantee winning (Im not talking football because this is a basketball column, but recruiting in football . . .)


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 1:52 p.m.

Anymore, it doesn't matter. All you have to do is finish high enough to become one of the 64+ teams to get invited to the Big Dance. And, for the team that wins the Big Ten, they still have to legitimize it by winning the Po$t $ea$on Tourney. To my point, I bet not many can readily remember the Big Ten champion from last year? It won't happen, but I would like to go back to having the team that wins its regular season conference title as the ONLY team rewarded with an opportunity to play in the NCAA Finals. Then, to me, the season becomes important again. Each game has meaning. As it is, all the loss for Michigan meant last nite was 'temporarily unhappy seniors' and a 'one loss' home stand. As it is, all you have to do is win 65% to 70% of your games. Tomorrow, no one will remember or care about Purdue.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 4:51 a.m.

And to your assertion that the B1G Ten conference winner has to 'legitimize' it with winning the end of the year one-game knockout, that is nonsense and I suspect you know it. The tournament is fun for us but doesn't replace the grind that these teams went through to determine who really is the Best of the West. If you disagree, ask yourself, if you had to eliminate one or the other, would you eliminate the whole season, leaving the just the tournament? Or just have a full season? Hopefully the answer shouts out at you. The losers use the end of the year tourney to legitmize their team in spite of their regular season performance. The winners use it to get ready for The Dance.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 4:40 a.m.

I am amazed you don't remember who wins the B1G Ten Conference and still post with authority. I'm more amazed you don't seem to care. For the record, TTDS won the most coveted conference championship in the NCAA last year. Prior to that, going back to 2006, it was exclusively held by OSU, MSU, and Wisky (I think Purdue was a co-champion somewhere along the way but don't remember when.) Add Illinois, Purdue, and Indiana to the mix, and these six teams have a lock on the B1G Ten title for the last 25 years. For honor, we Michigan fans have to go back to 1982-1986 when the two UM's won 3 titles. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." -- George Santayana.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 1:36 p.m.

WOW,that was a joke.i heard every excuse possible. simple, all about persentages, UM was way over against NW so odds say they were going to be way under the next game. eassy money,and way overrated.UM is way overrated,your not going to win by an offence that just jacks up 3s. So can we stop the talk about being BIG10 champs.You should know the drill by now, its Izzo time, playing for a #1 seed. UM had their 3 game run,wile we had transfers players kicked off.Back to where you rightly belong for the next 12 years,MSU's fat sis. I hope we get you in BIG10 turney. Just to slap you around again.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

trigg as someone with a degree from state, never comment again


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

Holy!!! did you learn how to spell and umm, write like that at MSU???? Or should I say did you lern how to spel and rite like that at MSU???

Jim Pryce

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 12:21 p.m.

Congrats, to Matt Painter & his Boilers, He figured out a way to make Trey Burke give up the ball, with a double team. The Michigan offense which goes thru Burke then had no flow, they couldn't run a pick & roll with Jordan Morgan & Michigan who was lucky to escape Northwestern by making enough 3 point shots over a zone defense, couldn't do it with a man in their face. Way to many 3 point tries the last 2 games.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 6:15 a.m.

Perhaps next year they will save any celebrating for after the game. This was truly embarassing to lose this way to a mediocre purdue team that we should have beaten by double digits. The headline for this article is truly off. The title hopes are a distant memory. Our faith in John Beilien has once again been shot down. Our lack of depth and talent is a reflection of his recruiting the past few years. This team is ALL his and he recruited each and everyone of these kids and yet our roster is loaded with MAC level talent. How many more years of no title? Depends on Mr Brandon's willingness to wait.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 6:37 a.m.

I think you are right that the title is off. In fact this article is on its third title. The first title that hit mlive said the loss was "Devastating" to Title hopes. Second pass was "Possibly" hurting the hopes. Third try (if I haven't missed one or two other changes) is "Likely Spoils" title chances. We're struggling with whether to take the maize and blue colored glasses off again methinks. So I'm not sure which title you're referring too, but you need to root for Wisky tomorrow. They are 8 point underdogs, so you may want to root extra hard.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 5:10 a.m.

Attention all U of M and MSU fans. Aarox makes smart and classy comments. I get really tired of all the gloating and potshots back and forth. Boring and silly. Let's have more intelligent commentators and fewer knuckleheads. Makes for much more interesting reading. And as a bonus--makes you think too!


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 6:18 a.m.

wow. and from 'the most trusted man in America'. i am humbled. May I quote you? "And that's the way it is"


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 4:14 a.m.

Coach B is a good Coach.He will always get you close,then for some reason he can't His Team over The Hump.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 12:55 p.m.

Utter nonsense. Have you even paid attention the last few years?


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:51 a.m.

It seems that the senior day festivities plus the articles about the seniors distracted the team somewhat and inspired Purdue. UM had a bad uninspired play after honoring the seniors and Purdue played well. Hummel was the real deal. Now seek redemption at the B1G tournament! haha


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:28 a.m.

Over-rated . . . . need to develop the "team" first mentality, which is difficult to do when you live and lose shooting three's!!! Should be a cake walk, the NIT that is!!!


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 10:49 p.m.

@j, you are right. I compared State's two bad road losses to our home loss last night. Good put. In my mind they are comparable. MSU is a top 5 school year in and year out. This means (to me at least) that winning on the road against unranked and middle of the pack opponents is a given. Not quite routine, but almost. We are (now) a Top 20 team. We will struggle on the road and have an occasional home game hiccup. I don't think that last night's loss is the end of a new era for us. It just reminds us that we aren't there yet. It took Izzo how many years to get them there. We either are early on that journey, or (my concern) we really aren't on that road yet. Part of me thinks we have a half solution with Beilein and ThreeLand that gets us out of the cellar but not on the map. Good post, thanks.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

aarox, I am not standing up for the other two posters, but in the B1G winning on the road in the is tough. You can't really compare road losses to the home losses. Just look at Michigan's road record compared to their home record


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:46 a.m.

"Shooting three's" and "team mentality" are two completely different concepts. The fact that a team is an outside (or for that matter inside) shooting team says nothing about the team chemistry as far as I can tell. What do you know that we don't? We had a tough loss tonite, like you did at Illinois and at Northwestern. Want to trade wound stories?


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:21 a.m.

This game pretty much should shut down the "Beilein for Coach of the Year" nonsense, even for the homers. (Note I said "should" not "will." We have the worst homers in the big ten. I just finished the Nebraska game and watched our own UM fans just spam the crud out of the ESPN board. It was embarrassing.) But all said, this is a top 15 or top 20 team. I want to say "solid top 15 or top 20" but their dependence on the outside game means that their results will be more erratic than teams that can play inside consistently. Top 20 team lose these kind of games from time to time. Check the paper Sunday morning and most of the upsets are the second tier of the top 25. Yes I know we are ranked in the top half but that is a function of how the week to week damaged are levied against the latest losers. The top half loses too but they tend not to lose them as often, and not when the money is on the line. So, bottom line, no worries.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 1:57 a.m.

What a disappointing loss. Michigan lacked energy and focus while Purdue had both. On offense Michigan missed far too many three-point attempts and repeatedly were unable to finish shots underneath the basket. Lately, Morgan's easy layups at the beginning of games roll of the rim. He needs to watch the ball all the way into the basket. Michigan needs to develop a motion offense rather than just pass the ball around trying to find an open three-shot then, when no open shot develops, shoot anyway. On defense Michigan gave up easy layups so Purdue drove to the basket all night with great success. In addition, Michigan gave Purdue far too many open three-shots which Purdue buried. I hope that Michigan did not enter the game over confident as I believe they did with Northwestern before struggling to win that game. The excuse that both Northwestern and Purdue were more motivated in their games than Michigan because they were considered "bubble" teams is shameful if true. Michigan is preparing for the Big Ten Tournament and then the NCAA Tournament so it should be honing its game skills, especially its intensity and focus. Every game should be played as if its the last game unless the game is won. I did not see Michigan play that type of game tonight.

jeff blue

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 1:53 a.m.

Well written article - I saw it the same way. By the time this game started, Michigan had lost its emotion. It is the coaches' job to manage this in his players. We needed to save all of that emotion for the real game, and not the rediculous pregame ceremony. Live and learn. Good teams don't celebrate before the game has started. Before this game, we had done a good job of managing emotion. JEFF, GO BLUE

jeff blue

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

I get college sports pretty well, and I really don't care for the NBA. It was obvious that Michigan started the game in a funk. They were not intense at all. There is a fine line in comopetitive sports -- you must be at your best, or someone will beat. I give credit to Purdue, as they played very well with a depleted team. But, Michigan is the better team and they were at home. Should never come up flat in this situation. Having the students on spring break really hurt as well. Save the ceremonies and the celebrating till afeter the game.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.

They were, obviously, not celebrating the game before it started. They were celebrating their graduating seniors at their final home game. This is not exactly revolutionary. Perhaps you should stick with the Pistons. Your don't seem to get college sports.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:54 a.m.

Emotion? Emotion does not put the ball through the hoop. They shot too many 3s at 30%


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 1:37 a.m.

Congrats Purdue, you beat em by 14 in their house and we beat you last week by 14 in your house ! Go Green Go White


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 4:13 a.m.

there. we got our wish. Wisky a 9 point dog. We are still in the hunt statistically speaking...


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:15 a.m.

College basketball is all about "on any given day." I could throw your losses at Illinois and Northwestern in your face and make exactly the same point. But it would be just as invalid as your argument vis. Purdue. That being said, I suspect we are both rooting for Wisky tomorrow....


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 1:29 a.m.

The streak continues no B1G championships since the 80s lol


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 1:26 a.m.

You live by the 3 you die by the 3. It's worked out ok for them at times but I wish Beilein didn't have such blind faith in this philosophy.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 6:55 p.m.

I am a hardcore Michigan fan, but that's exactly what I've been saying this year. We are not a solid team - we are a streaky team. It's exciting, I love the attitude of the kids... but realistically, it's hard to get far when you're relying on 3's. We are also undersized. This takes nothing away from team - because I think they are playing how they are playing because it's their best chance of winning right now, given the players we have. It's not JUST Coach B, in my opinion. You kinda HAVE to play how we do. But hopefully, getting some new recruits, we'll keep the good things we have going now and fill in a few of the voids. (Athleticism, kids that get to the line, inside/mid range offense, REBOUNDING, etc.) I'm proud of this team, but I'm really looking forward to the near future, also.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:53 a.m.

Agree completely. A very risky way to play basketball.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 1:26 a.m.

Basketball comes down to who can put the rock thru the rim. The Boilermakers did it tonight...our beloved Wolverines didn't. Props to Purdue. Next....