It would prove to be the difference in a 70-69 win for No. 5 Purdue.
The Boilermakers' 7-1 run to start the second half gave them a 46-33 lead, but MI answered with three straight 3-pointers. 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.
With 5.8 seconds left and the scored tied at 69 between MI and Purdue, John Beilein called his Wolverines into the huddle and drew up a play to win the game.
Tuesday night the fifth-ranked Purdue Boilermakers traveled one state north to face the very game Michigan Wolverines.
Yet the Wolverines answered from the perimeter, capitalizing on mismatches in defensive switches to score nine straight points.
MI is undefeated at home no longer, but they showed that no matter the opponent, they can hang with anyone at home. Five minutes in, Haas had eight points and Wagner had seven, the latter looking like he might match his 22-point first half against Purdue at Crisler last season. Isaiah Livers added 10 second-half points off the bench for MI.
Charles Matthews has 15.6 PPG for MI this year to lead the team, and Wagner is second on 14.1 PPG and 7.2 RPG.
In the opening seconds of the half, it looked as if Purdue was going to run away with the game. The Boilermakers have won their last 11 straight games, and are fresh off a win over Nebraska on Saturday.
The Nittany Lions continued fighting back. You have to play hard, fly around and make it hard on them.
Entering the season, Charles Matthews and Moe Wagner were expected to be Michigan's top players. It's also a chance for the Wolverines to let the rest of the Big Ten know they are for real. A new player seems to step up every game. Simpson also added six rebounds and five assists. The two combined for 18 points combined and continue to be critical pieces for MI off the bench. "I said, if it was taking so long, it must not be indisputable". It was a great matchup to see the freshman go head-to-head with Purdue's senior.
The crowd booed the team in stripes, but they could not change the outcome - MI had lost its first home game of the season, falling 70-69 to No. 5 Purdue at the Crisler Center.
The Wolverines are one of just three teams in the Big Ten that this year's senior class has never beaten on the road. When opponents dump the ball down and get themselves positioned deep in the paint, Wagner has a hard time contesting anything.
"We wanted to foul a little bit more at half court".
While Jon Beilein's teams have traditionally been about offense, it's the defense that's been carrying them. Senior forward Isaac Haas does most of his damage inside as he is shooting 64.3 percent from the field and averaging 14.7 points per game. If Haas gets double-teamed, he can kick it out to one of their shooters who is open. They may have a little trouble beating back a tough MI team, however, as the Wolverines have developed into solid scorers. Additionally, Wagner helps himself by being a threat to score from behind the arc. Purdue then tried to get a sideline inbounds pass directly to Isaac Haas, but Moritz Wagner was called for reaching over Haas' back as he poked it away. Tip-off is scheduled for noon Saturday. The Spartans are a high-powered offensive team, and Nick Ward could be another problem around the rim.