<
>

Tim Hardaway Jr. scores 19 points, lifts Michigan

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Michigan has aspirations of winning
a Big Ten title, but the Wolverines know they can't do it if they
don't win on the road.

Finally, they got one.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 19 points to help Michigan (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) defeat
Purdue 66-64 on Tuesday night.

Michigan guard Trey Burke said the Wolverines heard the
doubters, especially after a loss at Arkansas on Saturday.

"Coming off a tough loss to Arkansas, obviously, some tougher
losses on the road earlier in the season, a lot of people were
questioning if we could get a win on the road," he said. "We
stayed together in the second half, and it was good for us to get
that win."

Michigan coach John Beilein said he wouldn't be picky about
wins.

"It's a relief to win another game," he said. "I don't dwell
on it. I respect everybody who understands it's a difficult thing.
Only the great, great teams can win on the road continually."

Jordan Morgan had 12 points and seven rebounds, Stu Douglass
scored 12 points and Evan Smotrycz added 10 points for the
Wolverines (16-5, 6-2), who entered the game in a tie for first
place in the league. Michigan shot 54 percent from the field and
outrebounded the Boilermakers 30-23.

"We have to be a better defensive team," Purdue coach Matt
Painter said. "We have to be more consistent, we have to contain
the dribble better, just have more discipline. I think at times we
make improvements at stretches, and then we have just absolute
breakdowns."

Hardaway was the most difficult player for Purdue to contain. He
made 8 of 15 shots.

"You can see that he's getting more comfortable with physical
play," Beilein said. "His body's changed. He made a couple of
muscle plays inside. When you can get into the lane against Purdue,
it's really hard. He got there a few times, just enough to give us
a few extra points."

Lewis Jackson had 17 points and eight assists and Robbie Hummel
added 16 points for the Boilermakers (14-7, 4-4).

Michigan led 65-64 and had the ball in the final minute, but
Jackson stole the ball from Morgan. Purdue's Ryne Smith missed a
3-pointer from the right corner but came up with the ball in a
scramble. Hummel missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 12
seconds left, and Michigan got the rebound.

"The last good look we got, Lewis did a great job penetrating,
pitched it back to me, which is basically what the play was,"
Hummel said. "Great look, I just didn't knock it down. I was
basically wide open, so Lewis did 100 percent what he was supposed
to do, and unfortunately, I didn't."

Jackson said his confidence in Hummel is unchanged.

"I would do that play 100 more times," he said. "The shot
just didn't fall. We all know Rob's a great shooter. I don't regret
the way it happened. If Coach called that again, no
second-guessing. It goes in next time."

The Wolverines ran the clock down to 3.8 seconds before the
Boilermakers fouled Smotrycz. He made the first and missed the
second free throw, and Jackson's heave from near midcourt bounced
off the backboard.

Hummel didn't take a shot for more than 12 minutes at the start
of the game, but he got hot at the end of the first half. He scored
Purdue's last seven points before the break to cut the Wolverines'
lead to 30-28.

Michigan started strong in the second half. Baskets by Hardaway
and Zack Novak pushed the lead to 39-31 with 17:01 to play.

Michigan led by 10 points before the Boilermakers rallied. A
3-pointer by Smith and a basket by Johnson cut Michigan's lead to
44-39 and forced the Wolverines to call a timeout.

A 3-pointer by Byrd and a three-point play by Anthony Johnson
gave Purdue a 49-47 lead.

Burke scored to tie the game at 61 and set up the final 3
minutes.

Purdue, which was coming off an 83-58 loss to No. 10 Michigan
State, has lost two of its past three at home after a 26-game home
winning streak. In both losses, the Boilermakers struggled early.

"We just need to do a better job of starting games, getting off
on the right track," Painter said. "You go back, you watch film,
you try to watch your previous games and try to figure it out.
We're just a slow-starting team, and hopefully, we can correct
it."

Beilein said his team is starting to understand what it takes to
be a contender.

"We are learning how to make less mistakes and play better, and
realize the degree of error is so small," he said. "Whether it's
a home game or a road game, I think there's a correlation."