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Boilermakers Come Up Short In Double Overtime Against #19 Michigan

Casey Abbett

The last outing for the Purdue men's basketball team, against an unranked Illinois squad, resulted in the team's lowest point total in 70 years (in a 63-37 loss). So the Boilermaker offense had a lot of work to do before facing #19 Michigan in Ann Arbor Thursday.

In their first of three straight games against top-25 opponents, the Boilermakers fell to the Wolverines, but forced them into double overtime to do it, 84-78. While the offense did improve, the visitors were simply outlasted by the more talented home squad.

However, the single player who had the best night was Purdue center Trevion Williams. Williams doubled his previous career high in points and finished with 36. He would also notch career highs in rebounds with 20 and minutes played, playing 44 of the game's 50 minutes. He even hit a step back three-pointer to send the game into its first overtime period.

But the Boilermaker offense ran almost exclusively through Williams for much of the second half and overtime. In fact, for more than 20 minutes of play during that time, Williams was the only Boilermaker to score.

That had much to do with the fact that his fellow big man Matt Haarms, the team's leading scorer, left the game in the first half with a hip injury and did not return.

Neither Purdue nor Michigan ever led the game by double digits, in a contest which saw 14 lead changes.

The good news for the Boilermakers, now 9-7 on the year and 2-3 in the Big Ten Conference, is that their next game is at home. The bad news is that they will play host to 8th-ranked Michigan State, led by reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Cassius Winston.

That game tips off Sunday at noon in West Lafayette.

Casey Abbett is a senior at Purdue from LaCrosse, Indiana, and has been been interning as a sports reporter for WBAA since his freshman year.