WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- A.J. Hammons decided that the second half belonged to him as his play was huge for no. 20 Purdue on its way to an 87-70 victory over Michigan.
U-M (12-4) coach John Beilein knew coming in to this game that the Boilermakers (14-2) had a considerable size difference compared to the Wolverines. It was absolutely on display Thursday night throughout the game, outmuscling and, at times, abusing the U-M big men in the paint and outscored them 42-18 in the paint. 7-foot-2 center Hammons finished the game with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists.
The Wolverines were able to take advantage of a turnover-marred first half for Purdue and U-M lead by as much as four points heading into the later stages of the first half. However, a 12-0 run by the Boilermakers doomed the Wolverines and never quite recovered from the run.
U-M senior guard Caris LeVert missed his second-straight game with an undisclosed leg injury and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman once again started in his place. Abdur-Rahkman seemed to be the only bright spot for the Wolverines as he scored a career-high and team-leading 25 points from the field.
The hot shooting U-M had shown as of late wasn't on display on Thursday and a lot of that is attributed to Purdue having one of the best defenses in the country led by Hammond. The Wolverines finished shooting 37-percent from the field and 40-percent from the three-point line.
U-M returns to the Crisler Center to face Maryland on Jan. 12 at 9 p.m.