Purdue Downs Michigan
Boilermakers win 89-82
Jan. 29, 1998
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Purdue coach Gene Keady challenged his seniors at halftime. As it turned out, he really didn't have to. Michigan made it easy for the Boilermakers.
Jaraan Cornell scored 28 points and No. 10 Purdue took advantage of 23 turnovers by the 19th-ranked Wolverines for an 89-82 victory Thursday night.
"It's tough to overcome 23 turnovers," Michigan interim coach Brian Ellerbe said. "We didn't make good decisions and consequently our turnovers led to baskets for them. They turned our turnovers into points."
But there was no way Keady could count on that. All he knew was that Michigan was leading 41-37 at halftime. And he wasn't happy.
"I went after our seniors," Keady said. "That's the first time all season that I did that. I chewed them out, that's what I did."
Michigan (15-6, 5-3 Big Ten) shot 50.7 percent and had a 40-29 rebounding edge over the Boilermakers (18-4, 6-2), who shot 47 percent. But Purdue had just 13 turnovers.
"Coach said their team was going to make a run," recalled Brian Cardinal, who had 18 points for the Boilermakers. "He said, `It's just a matter of how you deal with it.' We just came out and played good defense."
Brad Miller had 19 points and Chad Austin added 15 for Purdue. Louis Bullock led Michigan with 18 points.
The Boilermakers, as they have done so often this season, also had a big edge at the free throw line. Purdue made 21 of 26 free throws while Michigan was just 6 of 8 from the line. For the season, Purdue has made more free throws (416) than their opponents have attempted (390).
"Free throws were a big factor," Keady said. "Rebounding doesn't have to be a big factor if you take care of the ball and hit your free throws."
A 3-pointer by Robbie Reid pulled Michigan into a 75-75 tie with 3:52 remaining. But a free throw by Miller and Alan Eldridge's 3-pointer from the left corner triggered an 11-2 Purdue run.
The Wolverines scored only three baskets the rest of the way as the turnovers continued to mount.
"We got a little lackadaisical at times," said Robert Traylor, who 17 points for Michigan. "They got a few steals and that led to some easy baskets."
It was a spirited game from the start. A basket by freshman Josh Asselin gave Michigan a 32-24 lead with 5:07 left in the first half.
But Cornell keyed a 9-0 run with a 3-pointer, a driving layup and a short jumper as the Boilermakers grabbed a 33-32 lead.
Travis Conlan sandwiched a 3-pointer between two baskets by Traylor as Michigan finished the half with a 9-4 burst and a 41-37 lead.
Jerod Ward, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds, hit two jumpers for a five-point Michigan lead early in the second half, but the Boilermakers -
taking advantage of turnovers and fouls - tied it at 50 with 16:18 left. There were nine lead changes in the next nine minutes as the teams traded baskets at a frantic pace. Purdue finally built a 67-62 lead on a transition
basket by Cardinal with 9:19 left. "It was 40 minutes of fast breaks," Conlan said. "We were making decisions on the fly and sometimes those aren't the best decisions."
The Wolverines tied it at 75, but it was all Purdue after that as the Boilermakers defeated Michigan for the fifth time in the last six meetings between the schools.
"We're still in the race for the league championship," Keady said. "That was our goal coming into this game."