After a game where Purdue scored the fewest amount of points since World War II, Coach Painter just needed his team to show some fight in the second of a back to back road trip.
The Boilers did just that, on the road against #19 Michigan, for 40 minutes they attacked and defended, and then when that was done they fought for five more minutes, and another after that.
Unfortunately despite an all-time performance from sophomore center Trevion Williams, the Michigan Wolverines were able to overcome the Boilermakers to win 84-78.
After scoring just 37 points against Illinois on Sunday, Purdue’s emerging star Trevion Williams had himself an all-time performance, scoring 36 points on his own to go with 20 rebounds. He did this without turning the ball over and more than doubling his normal minutes played. He came in averaging around 20 minutes a game, but a Matt Haarms hip injury late in the first half, and frankly, a too good to take off the court performance, the big man played 44 of the 50 minutes.
Despite a much better defensive performance, and an offense that had a game plan and executed it - give Williams the ball and get away - the Boilers went dry in the second overtime, unable to find a reliable second option.
To start the second half, it was true freshman Isaiah Thompson that provided Purdue with a much needed spark when he took over Haarms’ spot in the rotation. The little guard from Indy scored all 14 of his points in the second half, most happening in a short stretch where he drew fouls, knocked down a floater, and hit a couple three-pointers that got Purdue going after a first half where only three Boilermakers scored.
Eric Hunter Jr. was the only other Boilermaker to score in double-digits, but he rattled out what would have been a game-winning jumper at the end of the first overtime. Hunter Jr. spent a lot of his energy trying to corral Wolverine stud Zavier Simpson who played 49 minutes and was exceptional, scoring 23 points and assisting on 9 passes.
The Boilermakers almost ended this one in regulation. With Trevion Williams dominating the post before hitting a step back three with the shot clock expiring to go up two with less than a minute, it seemed the Boilers might pull off the upset. But Simpson kept responding.
Hunter nearly set up Williams for the last punch, as he drove and dumped it around to Williams with a second on the clock. But Williams rushed the last second off-hand lay-up and it just didn’t make it over the rim.
The Boilermakers will get to return home this weekend, but there won’t be much relief. They’ll have to play an excellent Michigan St. team as a part of a grueling rest of conference schedule where they play only one team outside of kenpom’s top 50.