ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team defeated the Purdue Boilermakers, 68-65, Saturday (Jan. 7) in front of 10,947 fans at Crisler Arena. On a day in which the Michigan family honored the life and career of basketball legend Bill Buntin (1963-65), the Wolverines displayed the same grit and desire that fueled Buntin's illustrious playing career.
No one represented the spirit of Buntin, the all-time double-double leader in Michigan history, more than senior forward Graham Brown (Mio, Mich./Mio-AuSable HS). Posting his third career double-double, Brown recorded 11 points while pulling down 10 rebounds. Brown finished the game 4-for-6 from the field and has six offensive rebounds in 26 minutes of action. In addition to Brown's post play, senior guard Daniel Horton (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill HS) led all scorers with 24 points, draining 5-of-9 from three-point land. He also went a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line with four assists and two steals in 37 minutes of action.
With Michigan and Purdue knotted at 63 with only 3:32 remaining in the contest, Horton found junior center Courtney Sims (Boston, Mass./Noble & Greenough School) for a rim-rattling dunk, igniting the Crisler Arena crowd. A Purdue field goal followed, tying the game at 65, but free throws by Horton and sophomore wing Ron Coleman (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS) iced the victory for the Wolverines, evening their Big Ten record at 1-1.
The Wolverines got off to a quick start as their pesky man-to-man defense flustered the Boilermakers into two early turnovers, leading to a 7-2 Michigan advantage. Freshman guard Jerret Smith (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS) led the Maize-and-Blue charge with a steal and lay-up, followed by a midrange jump shot, giving Michigan the early momentum.
Purdue did not stay down for long, taking a 13-10 lead on a balanced effort that included five different Boilermakers collecting points. All of Michigan's three-points during the four minute lapse came from freshman wing Jevohn Shepherd (Toronto, Ontario/West Hills Collegiate HS), two of which came off a pretty lay-up that trickled in off the back of the rim.
Following a Horton three-pointer that tied the game at 13, Michigan would regain the lead in style on an electrifying alley-oop from the Horton to junior forward Brent Petway (McDonough, Ga./Griffin HS). The lead, 15-13 with 12:17 to go in the first half, would last only a possession as Purdue advanced on a 9-0 spurt.
Horton would strike again later in the in first half along with backcourt mate Coleman as both combined to sink a pair of three-pointers to jumpstart a 10-2 U-M run. Coleman would connect on another bucket and two free-throws to tie the ballgame up at 30 with 4:53 remaining before half. A Petway dunk, his second of the afternoon, pumped life into the Crisler Arena faithful, but Michigan still trailed at half 38-33.
At the break, Horton led Michigan with eight-points on two-of-four shooting from three-point land. Coleman pitched in with seven points and two rebounds, while Brown led the team with six boards.
Michigan re-took the lead, 43-41, with just over four minutes into the second half, on a spot up Horton three-ball. Coming out of the locker room, Brown connected on two short field goals before Horton drained two consecutive long range shots to give Michigan its first lead since 7:18 in the first half.
The back-and-forth battle continued as Purdue retook the lead behind the play of guard Korey Spates, who scored 17-points off the bench for the Boilermakers. A Spates three-pointer increased the Purdue lead to 48-43, but consecutive three-pointers by Horton and Smith placed U-M back in the driver's seat at 54-50 with 12:26 to go.
Two field goals by Purdue forward Gary Ware gave the Boilermakers a 63-59 advantage, but a Horton bucket and a pair of Sims free-throws set the stage for the dramatic Michigan victory.
The Wolverines will have a bye for the mid-week Big Ten game and will not go back to the hardwood until Saturday (Jan. 14), when the Maize and Blue head to Champaign, Ill., to face No. 6 Illinois at Assembly Hall. Tipoff is scheduled for a 4:37 p.m. EST and shown as part of the ESPN-Plus regional package.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423