Glenn Robinson III used the glass to perfection, sinking a short jumper with no time left in overtime, as Michigan defeated Purdue 77-76 to stay atop the Big Ten standings.
Despite falling behind by as many as 19 points in the first half, Michigan actually had three chances to win the game at Mackey Arena. Nik Staukas, who fought off a sluggish first half to be a factor in the second, missed a long three-pointer at the horn to send the game into overtime.
With 13 seconds left in the extra session, Stauskas missed a contested layup which would have given the Wolverines a one point lead, just needing a stop to win the game. Instead, Robinson fouled Purdue’s Kendall Stephens giving the Boilermakers a chance to go up by three.
17 of 18
Purdue had already hit all 17 of its free throws, most of them nothing-but-net. Of course, Kendall Stephens missed the free throw setting up Robinson’s heroics.
Robinson, who more often than not plays as the second or third option, must have known the third time’s a charm when he banked in the winning shot.
He’s also more than aware that Mackey Arena is where his dad was an All-American for the Boilermakers.
Robinson finished the night with a team-high 17 points and eight rebounds, Caris LeVert had 14 points and seven rebounds, while Jordan Morgan had a great night in the post, scoring 13 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.
Stauskas blanked from 3
Stauskas, who couldn’t hit a layup and was shut-out from three-point land, finished with 15 points on 18 shots.
Like they did in recent losses to Iowa and Wisconsin, Michigan was an offensive mess in the first half. The Wolverines turning the ball over, took ill-advised shots and failed to get offensive rebounds. The sloppy play allowed Purdue to get numbers in transition, and the Boilermakers responded. At one point, Purdue lead by 19, 27-8, with eight minutes left in the first half.
In the last four games Stauskas and Caris LeVert carried the scoring load. Wednesday at Purdue, both players started very slowly. Eight minutes into the game, they were both scoreless, going 0-8 from the field.
Spike the Spark
Despite Michigan’s erratic first half, the Wolverines cut Purdue’s lead to nine, 39-30, with 17:00 remaining in the game. The second-half strategy was to rebound better on both ends, and hopefully run the offense earlier in the shot clock. For years, Michigan’s had a tendency to waste 25 seconds on the clock, then be forced to take a bad shot–which is not the way head coach John Beilein draws it up.
U-M received a spark in the second half from guards Zak Irvin and Spike Albrecht. Irvin, Mr. Basketball in Indiana as a prep star, scored eight points in the second half while Albrecht first settled the troops down—then committed a key steal and took an important charge in the final seconds of regulation.
Defensively, Michigan has trouble guarding the post, but this time had no answer for the perimeter—especially the Johnson brothers. Terone scored 24 points and Ronnie had 21.
Purdue’s big man, 7-1, 250 lb. A.J. Hammonds, fouled out with 11 points and six rebounds.
No. 16 Michigan (20-7, 12-3 Big Ten) hosts Minnesota Saturday (Mar. 1) while Purdue (15-13, 5-10 Big Ten) travels to Iowa Sunday (Mar. 2).♦
Big Ten Standings
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Joel Greer