College basketball rankings: Purdue's 15-game winning streak on line vs. MI

Jan 25 2018 West Lafayette IN USA Purdue Boilermakers forward Vince Edwards takes a shot against Michigan Wolverines forward Duncan Robinson during the first half at Mackey Arena. Mandatory Credit Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 25 2018 West Lafayette IN USA Purdue Boilermakers forward Vince Edwards takes a shot against Michigan Wolverines forward Duncan Robinson during the first half at Mackey Arena. Mandatory Credit Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

In Big Ten Basketball on Thursday - the Michigan Wolverines are on the road at the Purdue Boilermakers.

The Michigan Wolverines would love to crash the Boilermakers party, and make an interest at the top of the Big Ten standings. The Boilermakers are also one of the most unselfish teams in the league, dishing out 18.3 assists per game. Tombstone, Ariz., would have been a more apt venue than a small northwest IN outpost.

"We know how underrated they are defensively", Painter said of the Wolverines. It's the first time Purdue gave up more than 70 points to an opponent since December 1. With the loss MI falls to 6-4 in the Big Ten and 17-6 on the season. Purdue scored 38 points in the paint and the second-best 3-point shooting team in the country was 11 of 20 from beyond the arc. Ultimately, Purdue would pull away and hit their free throws to cling to a 92-88 win. Purdue's terrifying offense features so many weapons that it's impossible to devise a defensive strategy to take away one option without giving up something else. In the first 12 minutes, which unfolded like a prize fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Michigan and Purdue traded punches in the form of 3-pointers. Over most of the second half, the Wolverines and Boilermakers would trade baskets and leads on nearly every trip down the floor. Purdue was 12 of 15 and 5 of 6. Barring any major collapse, MI is a lock to make the tournament this season.

The Boilermakers are scoring almost 85 points per game, which is in the Top 20 in College Basketball.

"This is what you come to a Big Ten school to play basketball for, this environment, atmosphere and to be able to play on this stage", said Purdue senior forward Vincent Edwards, who scored a game-high 30 points. There were stretches of the second half where Abdur-Rahkman could not be stopped, connecting on deep, deep three pointers and piling up points.

MI led 68-65 with just over nine minutes left before a decisive 14-2 Purdue run changed the complexion of the game. Only seven of 32 shots were missed and at one point, the lead changed on 13 consecutive baskets.

Purdue: Vincent Edwards also had five rebounds and five assists while Carsen Edwards had 13 points.

The loss essentially ends Michigan's chances of winning the Big Ten. That they have talent and can play competitive basketball against other top teams.

Purdue's lead didn't last long thanks to Jordan Poole, who came in and immediately hit a pull-up jumper and 3-pointer in transition to put MI back on top, 17-14, less than a minute later.

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Unlike the first matchup, MI was patient in its offensive sets from the start and took a 12-8 lead with 13:50 left in the first half behind five points from Abdur-Rahkman on a 3-pointer and driving layup. MI scored 1.37 points per possession and shot 60 percent.

"Isaac's been great, " Purdue coach Matt Painter said.

Haas and promising 7-foot-3 backup center Matt Haarms both shoot over 60 percent from the field because they're too big to handle one-on-one at the rim. In the first half, Haas terrorized UM with 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

But after a 20-minute slugfest, the final 20 turned into a shootout. Despite his appearance on the bench, Purdue extended its lead to 41-36 at halftime.

"I can't recall it", MI coach John Beilein said of such a stretch.

"I think with experience, you can do that".

After losing twice in the Battle 4 Atlantis in The Bahamas over Thanksgiving, Purdue fell out of the Associated Press top 25.

Although Michigan lost the game tonight, they clearly passed the "eye test".

"I believe we're the best team in the nation", Haas said, "and I just want to show everybody".

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