Michigan Basketball (14-4, 3-2 B1G) was down by 13 and 14 points at various parts of Tuesday night’s showdown with No. 5 Purdue (16-2, 5-0 B1G), but were there in the waning moments with a chance to win the game.
Tied at 69 late, officiating came into play in the final minute of the game on two calls that went against the Wolverines. The first was a reversal of a call that gave Purdue the ball at the other end. The last was a foul on Moe Wagner, which sent Purdue to the free throw line to win the game by a score of 70-69 with only seconds remaining.
An underwhelming, and frustrating, way to end what was otherwise an incredible basketball game.
The Wolverines were led by 15 points from Zavier Simpson, who played his best basketball late and was instrumental in the comeback in the second half. Charles Matthews and Moritz Wagner had 14 and 11 points, respectively.
The Boilermakers were led by 19 points out of Vincent Edwards and 17 from Isaac Haas, who hit the free throw that gave his team the win, extending their streak to 13 games without a loss.
Michigan hung tough in the first half to start the game, trailing 11-9 at the under-16 timeout, but Purdue would extend its lead to 22-12 by the time the next TV timeout rolled around as they continued their hot shooting to get things going.
The Boilermakers would stretch the first-half lead to 30-16 after making six of their first eight shots from beyond the arc by the time the under-8 timeout rolled around.
Then, the Wolverines found their swagger.
Michigan exploded on a 12-2 run, led by Poole, to get the deficit to 34-30 in favor of Purdue. However, the Boilermakers would score five of the last seven points of the half to enter the locker room up 39-32.
Coming out of the half, the Boilermakers would extend their lead to 46-33 before the Wolverines went on a 9-0 run sparked by Isaiah Livers and Charles Matthews to trim the lead to 46-42 at the 16:15 mark, prompting a timeout call from Matt Painter.
Michigan continued to claw and fight its way back into the game, at one point with three of their true freshman on the floor. They would tie the game at 58 before a timeout with just under seven minutes to play in the contest.
Both teams would go back and forth with the game tied at 69 in the waning seconds of the game before the foul call on Wagner, which sent Purdue to the line to seal the game at 70-69.
Michigan next test does not get any easier, as they head to East Lansing on Saturday to take on No. 4 Michigan State, who despite losing to Ohio State over the weekend may very well be the best team in all of college basketball.