Purdue basketball suffered is hardest loss of the season to the number 16 Michigan Wolverines on Wednesday in an overtime thriller 77-76.
Purdue came out in the first half guns blazing and ran out to a 13-point halftime lead.
As expected from a top 25 team, Michigan rallied back by disrupting the Purdue offense and putting the ball in the basket, forcing the game into overtime.
The Boilermakers shot extremely well from the line starting the game making their first 17 attempts. Unfortunately, their only miss came in overtime before Michigan’s last possession. Glenn Robinson III made an athletic play as the clock hit zero and crushed the Boilers’ hopes of a win.
The basket took the wind out Purdue and left Coach Matt Painter in disbelief.
Four Michigan players scored double digits: Glenn Robinson III scored 17, Nik Stauskas followed with 15, Caris LeVert had 14, and lastly, Jordan Morgan put up 13 points.
The Wolverines overall shot under their season averages: 41.5 percent from the field, 26.1 percent behind the arc, and 68 percent from the line. They usually shoot eight percent better at the line and 13 percent better from deep.
Purdue stepped up its defense making shots hard, along with playing tough Big Ten defense, something that has not been seen much from the Boilers this season.
The Paint crew helped out the Boilers by welcoming the Wolverines into a hostile environment. The deafening sounds and banter from the fans affected the Wolverines at the line.
Purdue had its most productive game by having five players reach double digit scoring. Terone Johnson led the way with 22 points, his brother Ronnie followed with 21, A.J. Hammons had 11, and Kendall Stephens and Rapheal Davis both scored ten points.
Purdue shot a season high from the stripe shooting 94.4 percent. Stephens had the only miss in the game, which inevitably led to them losing by one point.
After the game, Stephens took it upon himself to shoot free throws for multiple hours after everybody left. That is the type of determination the Boilers are going to need in their upcoming game against the 20th ranked Iowa Hawkeyes.
Iowa is lead by their best all around player Roy Devyn Marble. He averages 17 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. He shoots 42 percent from the field and 37.6 from three point land.
Aaron White is arguably the second best on the team. He averages 13.4 points, 6.8 rebounds. He shoots 60 percent on the floor and 81.8 percent from the line.
Both of these players are a threat but they both average close to two turnovers a game.
Melsahn Basabe, Jarrod Uthoff, and Mike Gesell cannot fly under the radar of the Boilermakers. They all average eight points a game and can go off at any moment.
They key for Purdue lies in what they did to Michigan on Wednesday. They have to get up close and play in your face defense and disrupt Iowa’s offense.
A.J. Hammons is going to need to stay out of foul trouble, and be a force in the paint.
Terone Johnson needs to have a strong on ball presence while guarding Marble on the outside.
The Boilers will need to shoot well from the line much like Wednesday night. Lastly if they can get the offensive production they got against Michigan they can make a run at upsetting Iowa.
This is old school Big Ten basketball facing off Sunday night in Iowa City. However this is a tossup game. Both teams are inconsistent. The game is in Iowa City but the Hawkeyes have struggled a few times at home. The same goes for Purdue. Whoever shows up to play will win the game.
– Bryan Sleik