Michigan-Purdue Preview

The Associated Press

Michigan is having no luck on opponents' courts, and the Wolverines play three of their next four games away from Ann Arbor.

Purdue is likely happy that it doesn't have to travel for this contest after enduring a nightmarish trip over the weekend.

The 20th-ranked Wolverines again seek their first true road win of the season Tuesday night when they face the Boilermakers, winners of the last six meetings in West Lafayette.

Michigan (15-5, 5-2 Big Ten) returns to conference play after suffering a 66-64 loss at Arkansas on Saturday. Things looked bleak early for the Wolverines, who trailed by 20 in the first half.

A 10-0 run - spurred by three dunks and a layup by Jordan Morgan - early in the second half helped Michigan come back, and it had a chance to win but Trey Burke's 3-point attempt at the buzzer rimmed out.

"An inch here or there and it's a completely different feeling in this locker room,'' said Morgan, who matched a season high with 16 points. "It's tough, but it's part of playing on the road.''

That, however, has not gone well for the Wolverines, who have lost to Arkansas, Virginia, Indiana and Iowa in their true road games. Things don't get much easier with four of their next five coming at Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan State and Nebraska.

Michigan has been outscored by an average of 15.4 points in losing six straight at Purdue's Mackey Arena since a 78-67 victory Feb. 19, 2003.

Against the Razorbacks, the Wolverines shot 41.0 percent and misfired on 20 of 28 3-pointers (28.6 percent), while Tim Hardaway Jr. finished with nine points - 6.1 below his team-leading average.

Hardaway has struggled mightily to find his shot on the road, averaging 10.5 points and 28.6 percent from the floor.

"If you're going to win on the road, you have got to have so much more talent than the other team, or you've got to play your best game,'' coach John Beilein said. "That's pretty much what it comes down to.

"Look at our shooting stats: We did not play our best game.''

Michigan is also struggling defensively away from Ann Arbor, allowing an average of 71.0 points compared to 53.9 at the Crisler Center, where it's 12-0.

The Wolverines lost 80-57 at home to Purdue last Dec. 28 in the teams' lone meeting of 2010-11. They've dropped five of six in the series, although the Boilermakers were 16th or higher in the Top 25 during each of those meetings while the Wolverines were unranked.

Purdue (14-6, 4-3) isn't in the poll this time around and is coming off one of its worst performances of the season - one that wasn't completely unexpected due to travel circumstances.

The Boilermakers lost 83-58 to then-No. 9 Michigan State on Saturday, shooting season lows of 29.0 percent from the field and 15.0 percent (3 of 20) from 3-point range. They arrived in East Lansing a little more than two hours before the 12 p.m. ET tipoff after boarding a bus at 4:45 a.m. because of problems with three planes.

Purdue was competitive early, trailing by three with 4:45 remaining in the first half but was clearly tired and got outscored 60-38 the rest of the way.

Coach Matt Painter refused to say the travel woes led to the rout, though they certainly seemed to bother Robbie Hummel. The senior, averaging a team-high 15.4 points, missed all 11 shots and matched a career low with two points.

Hummel could have better results Tuesday. In five games versus Michigan, he's averaging 14.8 points for his second-highest output against a Big Ten team.

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