Wolverines Fail to Stop Strong Purdue Duo

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team suffered its first Big Ten loss of the season, dropping a 67-53 decision to Purdue at Mackey Arena Saturday (Jan. 13) night. The Wolverines (14-4, 2-1 Big Ten) turned the ball over 17 times during the game, including 10 in the first half. Fueled by a 20-5 run, the Boilermakers (13-5, 2-2 Big Ten) took a 15-point halftime lead, but would see their advantage dwindle to six in the second half against a scrappy Wolverine effort.  

Senior Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) led Michigan with 21 points on 7-for-14 shooting including 3-for-6 from beyond the arc and a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe. He also recorded a pair of assists and two steals. Harris was the only Wolverine to score in double-digits.

Fifth-year senior Lester Abram (Pontiac, Mich./Northern HS) contributed nine points on 3-for-9 shooting. He also led the team in rebounding with six boards and dished out a team-high three assists in 37 minutes of playing time.

Senior Brent Petway (McDonough, Ga./Griffin HS) turned in a complete performance with seven points, five rebounds, one block and a steal.

Due to strong perimeter play the Wolverines gained an early 8-2 advantage behind a pair of three-point buckets by junior Ron Coleman (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS) and a long two-point field goal by Harris -- that kissed off the glass -- for the games first points. 

A series of turnovers -- including four consecutive -- by Michigan ignited the following 20-5 Purdue run and gave the Boilermakers a 22-13 lead at 10:37 in the first half. Guard David Teague led the way for Purdue with two three-pointers during the jaunt. Teague finished a monster first half with 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting including 4-for-5 from three-point land.

Boilermaker forward Chris Landry, who came into the contest ranked in the top-five in both points and rebounding in the Big Ten, complemented Teagues outside attack with 13 points from the paint. Landrys efforts were magnified as Wolverine big-man senior Courtney Sims (Boston, Mass./Noble & Greenough School) sat on the bench for much of the first half in foul trouble.

Harris kept the Maize and Blue afloat late in the opening stanza with a team high 11 points on 3-for-6 shooting. With the veteran play of  Sims sidelined, aggressive low-post buckets by Petway and freshman DeShawn Sims (Detroit, Mich./Pershing HS), forced the Purdue defense to play honest.

Trailing 42-27 at halftime, Michigan entered the locker room shooting the ball well, but 10 first-half turnovers deflated any Wolverine swing in momentum. U-M finished the half shooting 8-for-19 including 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. Purdue shot 16-for-28 in the first 20 minutes of action. 
A refocused and reenergized Michigan team came out strong in the second half, eventually trimming the Boilermaker lead to 46-40 at 14:13 following an 8-0 U-M run. Just as in the first half, Coleman and Harris combined for a pair of baskets during the spurt, but both eventually gave way to C. Sims -- seeing his first extensive action since the beginning of the game -- who connected on a back-to-back buckets in the paint.

The Wolverines, however, were unable to keep the momentum in their favor as Purdue answered with a 10-3 run and regained control for the rest of the contest. Despite a valiant effort by Harris, who finished with 10 second half points, foul trouble and turnovers plagued Michigan from start-to-finish. 

Aside from a lay-up by Abram with four seconds remaining in the game, the Maize and Blue were held scoreless from the field during the final seven minutes of the contest. The win by Purdue extends its record to 11-0 this season at Mackey Arena. The duo of Landry and Teague finished with 43 points.

The Wolverines return home Wednesday (Jan. 17) to take on Penn State. The game will be televised by ESPN-L and tip off is set for 8:00 p.m.

Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423

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