Michigan Rally Attempt Comes Up Short in Loss to No. 5 Purdue

Purdue guard Nojel Eastern and Nebraska guard James Palmer Jr. go for a loose ball in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in West Lafayette Ind. Saturday Jan. 6 2018

Now, the Wolverines have two choices.

Encouragement and resolve. MI should be encouraged it rallied and could have - should have - beaten No. 5 Purdue.

MI coach John Beilein answers questions from the media after the 70-69 loss to Purdue on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, at Crisler Center.

It wasn't necessarily a back-and-forth game as much as it was a game that Purdue punched, MI answered, Purdue punched, MI answered. After losing on the road to Ohio State themselves, the Wolverines have won seven straight, including a pair of conference wins over Iowa and IL. Both teams missed shots on their next two possessions before Matthews committed a turnover with 6.2 seconds left.

The whistle blew, a foul was called on Wagner, and Haas made the front end of a one-and-one to give Purdue the lead. The league's overall perception took another hit with top-ranked Michigan State Spartans losing to Ohio State on Sunday afternoon.

"That one hurts", Beilein said. "That's what good teams do". It's part of the game, you have to learn from it and get better from it.

For nearly 40 minutes, the game between MI basketball and Purdue was a classic. The Boilermakers were so determined to keep Wagner from beating them, they broke character and switched on defense every time he touched it, daring Michigan's backcourt to beat them.

If the Wolverines go 3-3 in these next six games, they will be 6-5 in Big Ten play. With 21 points on 7-for-14 shooting, Vincent Edwards was Purdue's leading scorer. But Purdue's Dakota Mathias - bloodied and sent to the bench by a collision with the floor only minutes before - got a hand on the ball from behind.


But in the final seconds of a 69-69, the refs took the game out of the players hands and took it into their own.

And this - not in the waning seconds at MI on Tuesday night - this is where Isaac Haas answered the pressure.

The senior center hit the first of two free throws.

"I'll wait to watch the video", Beilein said of the call against Wagner. Since then they have been on fire, winning 11 in a row, including an 89-64 drubbing of then #2 Arizona to close out their trip to the Bahamas. MI grabbed a rebound at 1:20. "When he fouled, he made it a harder game". Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman has 11.0 PPG, and Duncan Robinson is also in double-figures for MI on 10.2 PPG. "I think we're a really good team".

"I thought I was just going to make an easy hook", Haas said.

The Wolverines are growing, as Beilein's teams generally do. Yet, if UM could go 4-2, they would be 7-4. Livers scored in double figures for the third straight game. So does 7-1 sophomore Jon Teske, and they'll need all of it.

"It was meant to go to Dakota in the corner first, but Matthews denied it", Edwards said.

At that point, Haas knew the ball would come to him. The Wolverines knocked down 19 of their 24 free throws (79.2 percent) and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.588 (above their season average of 0.567).

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