Rapid Reaction: Michigan loses to No. 5 Purdue in final seconds

Basketball

Michigan basketball (14-4) lost to No. 5 Purdue ?(16-2) 70-69 in the final seconds inside Crisler Arena Tuesday night.?

This was Michigan’s biggest game so far this season. It was an opportunity to not only get a conference win, but a statement win over the No. 5 ranked team in the nation.

Unfortunately for those hoping for a statement win, the Wolverines couldn’t pull it off.

At the end of the game, the officials made a questionable decision to award Purdue the ball after about 5 minutes of deliberation at the scorers table. After that, Moe Wagner got called for a soft foul on an entry pass to Isaac Haas. Purdue?s big man hit 1 free throw to take the lead, and the win.

My take: If it takes an extended period of time to make a decision about the call on the floor, it probably isn’t indisputable.

Defending the Bigs

Purdue big man Isaac Haas had his way with Michigan’s interior defense. The 7-foot-2 Center was getting great looks at the bucket all game, but with more of his shots being contested in the second half, they didn’t fall as often.

After scoring 12 points in the first half, Haas had only 5 points in the second.

Michigan contained one of the more underrated players in the in Vince Edwards. Purdue’s do-it-all-man was held to 10 points on 4 of 10 shooting. By no means did they shut him down, but Edwards was the player most worrying.

Michigan’s Spark Plug

It seems that every time Jordan Poole steps onto the floor Michigan has an instant boost of energy. Other than being an energy guy, Poole can score – and do it efficiently.

In the first half, the freshman only played 4 minutes. In those minutes, Poole put up 5 points on 2 of 3 shooting. Compare this to Charles Matthew’s 5 points in 19 minutes.

Livers & Poole

Over the past few games it has become increasingly clear that freshman Isaiah Livers and Jordan Poole need to have more game time.

Yes, they are young, but at what point do you go with the hot hand?

Livers has been great both offensively and defensively. He is efficient with the ball and contests every shot on the other end.

Jordan Poole has shown that he can score from the outside, and he has also shown is aptitude to get to the bucket and finish in a ton of different ways. In this game he got near the paint and finished with a floater over his defender:

Livers – 10 points (4-4), 3 rebounds, 1 assist.
Poole – 8 points (2-4), 1 rebound in 7 minutes.

 

Player of the Game – Zavier Simpson

The Sophomore point guard stepped up big time in Michigan’s most important game this far. He had 15 points (6-10), 6 rebounds, and 5 assists.

Simpson knocked down 2 of his 3 3-point shots.

For as mysterious the point guard position was for the Wolverines earlier this season, it is great to see Zavier Simpson has brought some stability.

 

Here is the full box score of the game.

 

Michigan takes on rival and no. 4 Michigan State Spartans (15-2) on the road on Sunday the 7th at noon.

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