ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The No. 7 Michigan Wolverines (8-0) hosted the No. 19 Purdue Boilermakers (5-3) on Saturday as both teams competed in their first Big Ten matchup.
Michigan followed up an impressive victory over No. 11 UNC (7-2) earlier in the week with another commanding win against Purdue. The Wolverines remain undefeated and have won every game by at least 17-points. Here are some takeaways from Michigan’s 76-57 triumph over the Boilermakers.
Michigan’s three-point shooting was superb, especially in the first half. Every time Purdue gained momentum, the Wolverines would answer with a quick three-pointer and bring the home crowd back into the game.
John Beilein’s team started the game shooting 6-0f-7 from behind the arc and finished the half 9-of-15. As forecasted in the preview and prediction article, Jordan Poole, Charles Matthews, and Ignas “Iggy” Brazdeikis dominated the Michigan offense. They accounted for 10 of the total 13 three-pointers made in the game. Poole stood out the most by shooting a perfect 5-of-5 from downtown and led all Michigan players with 21-points.
These three-pointers dropped into the basket due to the fluid Michigan ball movement, and the Purdue defense could not keep up with the speed of the Wolverines’ offense. Additionally, the passes made by Michigan were precise which enabled shooters to step-into their threes.
By the end of the game, several players were able to sink a three-pointer. Even 7-footer Jon Teske went 2-of-2 from three and achieved a career-high 17-points.
Limiting Carsen Edwards
Purdue’s Carsen Edwards is an elite score that came into this game averaging 25-points. Nevertheless, the Michigan defense shut down Edwards and made his impact on the game minimal.
Edwards ended with 19-points, but he shot 7-of-21 on field goals and 1-of-5 from three. Not only did he shoot poorly, but he also had five turnovers which instead could have been points for the Boilermakers.
Furthermore, he was unable to create buckets for his teammates. As Purdue’s leading passer, he finished with a mere three assists.
The Michigan defense was directed by Zavier Simpson who had an enormous factor in Edwards’ performance. On one play, Edwards was looking to attempt an easy three-pointer, so he called for a couple of screens to separate himself from Simpson. Despite the picks, Simpson snuck past them and was all over him. Soon after, Edwards was forced to pass the ball, but it was stolen and Michigan went on a fastbreak.
Now that the Wolverines are eight games into the season, their pure form and character are beginning to be visible. Currently, there seems to be nothing but positives. In fact, their free-throw shooting woes disappeared in this game as they went 11-of-13 from the line.
Even when the team goes cold, they find a way to fight through the adversity. For instance, in the second half, Michigan struggled to score a field goal for a few minutes which allowed Purdue to ignite a comeback. However, the Wolverines’ defense did not let their lead slip away and went on a run late in the match by knocking-down two straight three-pointers to ice the game.
These Wolverines are confident in their play and trust each other in any decision made. Every player hypes-up one another with endless high-fives and cheers from the bench. At the moment, this team is in peak shape and will look to carry on this energy for the remainder of the season.
Lastly, on December 4th, Michigan will go on the road to face off against Northwestern, and Purdue will take on Maryland at home on December 6th.