Michigan at Purdue
Third-ranked Purdue looks to stay on track for its second straight Big Ten regular-season title when it hosts No. 25 Michigan on Thursday. The Boilermakers have won 15 consecutive games, including an 87-64 victory against Iowa on Saturday, to remain undefeated in conference play and hope to move to 9-0 in the Big Ten for the first time in program history by sweeping the season series with the Wolverines following a 70-69 triumph on Jan. 9.
Purdue has won its last three games overall by an average margin of 28.3 points, and hopes to extend its home winning streak to 13 with another dominant showing. Michigan bounced back from its worst performance of the season against Nebraska with a 62-47 win over Rutgers on Sunday. The Wolverines finished a stretch of eight games in 22 days with six wins, but hit the 70-point plateau just once in their last five contests and hope to rediscover their shooting touch against a Purdue squad that has held three straight opponents to 50 or fewer points. “I’ve never seen anybody just annihilate people like Purdue is doing right now,” Michigan coach John Beilein told reporters. “The way Purdue is playing we have quite a challenge.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
ABOUT MICHIGAN (17-5, 6-3 Big Ten): Moritz Wagner led the way with 16 points to go along with six rebounds in the win against Rutgers after being held to a season-low two points in the 72-52 loss to Nebraska in his previous game. Duncan Robinson provided a spark off the bench as he drained four 3-pointers en route to 12 points against the Scarlet Knights to move within three 3-point field goals of passing Stu Douglass (205) for seventh place on the Wolverines’ all-time list. Charles Matthews added 10 points while Zavier Simpson contributed 10 points, a career-high eight rebounds and four assists to help the Wolverines improve to 10-0 all-time against Rutgers.
ABOUT PURDUE (19-2, 8-0): Sophomore guard Carsen Edwards was named the Co-Big Ten Player of the Week after averaging 21.5 points and 5.5 assists in the wins over Iowa and Wisconsin (78-50). Edwards scored 22 points and dished out eight assists while Vincent Edwards added 19 points as the Boilermakers set a single-game record with 20 3-pointers in the victory against the Hawkeyes. “We try to find guys in rhythm, in transition shooting those 3s,” Purdue coach Matt Painter told reporters. “Good decision making leads to pretty good shots and a pretty good percentage from the field.”
1. Purdue has won 10 consecutive Big Ten regular-season games dating back to last year.
2. Michigan G Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman is ranked second nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (5.38).
3. The Boilermakers have made 10 or more 3-pointers in four straight games.