Jordan Morgan, Michigan’s lone senior, offered up a history lesson this week. “These last few years we've had that back and forth being the hunter versus the hunted,” Morgan said. Having gone from perceived also-ran entering Big Ten play this season, Michigan now is ranked 10th in the country and wearing a maize and blue bulls-eye. Purdue was one of those teams geared up to face Michigan on Thursday night, and the Boilermakers gave it their best shot. They threw a couple jabs, landed some, too. But in the end, Michigan laid Purdue out in a 75-66 win that wasn't that close. Back to being a top-10 team as it was for most of last season, this is what U-M can expect from here on out. On Thursday it was Nik Stauskas, Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton Jr. carrying the weight. The three combined for 44 points while LeVert notched the first double-double of his career with 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Looking to fend off Purdue (13-8, 3-5 Big Ten) after a choppy first half, Michigan made eight of its first nine second-half field goals to build a 56-39 lead with 12 minutes, 45 seconds left. The Wolverines rode the comfortable lead until the end to improve to 16-4 overall. Rolling on a 10-game winning streak, Michigan (16-4) is now 8-0 to start Big Ten play for the first time since 1976-77. A win at Indiana on Sunday would mark the program’s first 9-0 start in the league since the 1964-65 Wolverines opened 10-0. The Hoosiers (13-8, 3-5) fell at Nebraska on Thursday night. Michigan took care of the other conference foe from Indiana Thursday by shooting 60.9 percent from the field, including 15-of-22 shooting (68.2 percent) in the second half. The evening looked quick and easy early. Michigan jumped to an 18-8 lead after 11 seconds, 40 seconds. Every starter had scored, while four -- Walton, LeVert, Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III -- each made a 3-pointer. Purdue didn’t fold. The Boilermakers used a string of uncharacteristic U-M turnovers to piece together an 11-0 run. Purdue held a 19-18 lead before Walton converted a coast-to-coast layup out of a timeout to muzzle it. Walton’s layup was just a preview of the first half’s top highlight. With 4.8 seconds left in the half, the freshman point guard took an inbounds pass about 60 feet in seven dribbles to kiss in a layup just before the horn. The drive gave U-M a 37-29 halftime lead and masked some of the Wolverines’ lax offensive possessions. The Boilermakers couldn't gain similar traction in the second half. Michigan led by as many as 17 with 4:28 left. Coming off three straight wins over top-10 opponents, Michigan is now off and running on a stretch of five games in 13 days. Prior to last year’s 16 straight wins to begin the season, Michigan’s last winning streak of nine games or more was a 13-game run in 2002-03. Purdue, which remains winless against top-10 opponents in its last 13 tries, was led by A.J. Hammons' 16 points and eight rebounds.
Michigan runs past Purdue, 75-66; extends winning streak to 10
Michigan Live | Jan 31