Michigan 71, Purdue 55
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP)—Purdue was finished once Dion Harris and Michigan learned to finish.
Harris scored 21 points Saturday and the Wolverines shook off a sloppy first half to avenge their only Big Ten loss with a 71-55 victory over the Boilermakers.
The win, Michigan’s third straight at home, moved the Wolverines into a second-place tie with Indiana in the conference standings.
Michigan had an almost six-minute scoring drought in the first half, but Harris made consecutive 3-pointers during a 13-2 run early in the second that gave the Wolverines (16-4, 4-1) control of the game. He was 5-for-7 from behind the arc to move into second place on the school’s all-time 3-pointers list and had five assists.
“We didn’t finish when we had opportunities in the first half,” Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said. “We got to the line but didn’t make free throws and we struggled from the floor.
“We just talked about coming out in the second half and finishing.”
After going 9-for-25 from the floor in the first half, Michigan went 11-for-13 in the first 10 minutes of the second. The Boilermakers, who defeated Michigan 67-53 on Jan. 13, had just four field goals during the same stretch.
“We just wanted to come out and attack,” Harris said. “It really helped that we got out to that kind of start because it seemed like every part of the game got better for us.”
Carl Landry and David Teague each had 15 points for the Boilermakers, who have lost all five of their road games this season and extended a streak of defeats on opponents’ home courts to 29 games. Purdue (13-7, 2-4) last won a true road contest Feb. 21, 2004.
“A lot of those runs they had in the second half were because we didn’t keep them off the boards and out of transition,” Boilermakers coach Matt Painter said. “You can’t do that against a team that likes to run like they do.”
Purdue finished the game with 21 offensive rebounds but missed a myriad of shots in the early moments of the second half. The Boilermakers finished 19-for-57 from the floor (33 percent).
“You see how tough they are with those 21 offensive rebounds, but we came in wanting to be as tough as they are, especially defensively,” Amaker said.
Landry and Teague scored a combined 43 points in the teams’ first meeting but were not much of a factor Saturday when the game was close. Harris said taking them out of the game was a priority.
“They still scored tonight, but they didn’t score as much as the first game,” he said. “We knew we had to watch them.”
The Wolverines jumped out to an early 10-2 lead but went more than five minutes without scoring midway through the first half. Purdue outscored them 13-0 during the stretch. Ekpe Udoh hit a jumper late in the period to give Michigan a 25-23 lead at intermission.
Lester Abram had 12 points for the Wolverines, who also got a career-high 11 points and seven assists from Jerret Smith. Brent Petway added 10 points and five blocks.
Michigan, which has struggled against stronger teams this season, begins a road trip next week that stops at Big Ten leader Wisconsin and Indiana.
“We have to keep playing together and playing defense,” Petway said. “It works at home and it works on the road.”