Michigan basketball didn't play a clear basketball sport Friday evening.

The Wolverines struggled to carry onto the ball, turning it over 14 occasions. They shot simply 44.6% from the sphere. 

However U-M's protection held Purdue to its lowest-scoring sport of the season in a 70-53 victory on Friday evening, and the Wolverines left Mackey Area with sole possession of first place within the Massive Ten. 

Michigan jumped out to an early 10-point lead within the first half and led by double digits for a lot of the sport. 

Isaiah Livers led all scorers with 22 factors and added 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Eli Brooks added 11 factors on 5 of Eight capturing. 

Michigan's protection stands tall

The Wolverines performed as nicely on protection as they've all season within the first half, holding Purdue to only 0.70 factors per possession and a 2 of 14 begin from the sphere. Michigan did not let Boilermaker middle Trevion Williams set up himself down low; Williams, Purdue's main scorer, scored simply 5 factors on 2 of seven capturing within the first half. 

In the meantime, the Wolverines guarded the 3-point line tightly, maintaining the Boilermakers with no made 3-pointer within the first 20 minutes. The stingy protection allowed Michigan to open up an early 14-Four lead, and even when U-M's offense faltered at occasions, the protection helped the Wolverines keep that early benefit. 

The protection didn't let up within the second half, as Purdue shot simply 11 of 37 (29.7%) within the last 20 minutes and barely discovered straightforward seems. 

Seniors cleared the path

Livers and Brooks have performed numerous profitable basketball however Friday's sport appeared to focus on why they're so essential to this season's crew. After scoring a game-high 20 factors in Tuesday's win over Maryland, Livers scored a game-high 22 factors Friday, and he did it with out dominating the ball.

Livers' utility as a scorer comes from his capturing, and he hit three essential 3s Friday's that helped kickstart a struggling offense. He additionally picked up a unfastened ball and dunked in transition and performed powerful protection, ending with quite a few contests on the rim. It was an all-around efficiency from the senior ahead, one which Michigan wanted on an evening when it did not play its cleanest basketball. 

Brooks, in the meantime, was all over the place on the court docket. As Purdue tried to muster a second-half comeback, he drove to his left and completed over Boilermaker 7-foot-Four middle Zach Edey. Brooks performed his trademark protection, stifling Purdue's guards and stopping straightforward dribble penetration. 

U-M's protection is solely not the identical when Brooks is not on the ground, and his ball-handling and data of the offense permits the Wolverines to get by with simply two true guards within the rotation as a result of Juwan Howard can both play Brooks and Mike Smith collectively or stagger lineups with at the very least one of many two within the sport. 

One other quiet sport from Dickinson

Michigan star freshman middle Hunter Dickinson scored in double digits in his first 11 video games, regardless of coming off the bench within the first 5 contests. However he has seen his scoring output dip not too long ago. Some opponents, like Minnesota, deserve credit score for forcing the ball out of Dickinson's palms with aggressive double groups. 

However he additionally has struggled with turnovers and isn't capturing nicely on the rim; at Purdue, Dickinson completed with 10 factors on Four of 8 capturing and 6 turnovers.

Dickinson did add a key basket late within the second half when Williams gambled on a steal try by catching the ball and ending regardless of being fouled (he additionally made the following free throw). 

He additionally defended Williams nicely and was an enormous cause why the Purdue middle shot simply 6 of 19. Nonetheless, it is a credit score to the Wolverines' depth and protection that they held a double-digit lead for many of Friday's sport regardless of the quiet efficiency from their main scorer. 

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