WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Trey Burke enters each Big Ten arena with a target on his back, and that was no exception inside Mackey Arena.
Purdue coach Matt Painter had a tremendous game plan in place which contained the sophomore point guard through the game’s first 33 minutes, which saw Boilermakers stormed to a 12-point lead. Then, Burke ignited. He scored 22 of his 26 points in the second half, leading No. 7 Michigan to an 80-75 win.
“Trey Burke is a very good player,” said Painter. “And the one thing you want to do is get him out of rhythm.”
With 11 minutes and eight seconds on the clock, Burke banged home a three-pointer which cut Purdue’s lead down to nine points. Smoke may as well have risen out of the net after that. He would add 19 points after that while missing just two shots.
Burke later buried a fastbreak jumper in the paint with just over five minutes remaining, giving Michigan its first lead of the second half.
“It seemed like after a certain point, he started getting a lot of things,” Purdue forward Rapheal Davis said of Burke after the game.
After Michigan charged back to the lead, Purdue refused to back down. Guard Terone Johnson carried the Boilermakers with a career-high 32 point performance.
“Terone was great scoring the basketball,” said Painter after the game. “Those shots he makes, he makes those look pretty easy, but they’re difficult. He got into a rhythm and was a guy we could count on.”
Johnson delivered a needed jumper with 11 seconds to go, cutting the deficit to two points. An opportunity was there for the Boilermakers after Burke missed his second free-throw attempt. With no timeouts, Purdue tried to set up its final shot, but Johnson could not corral a pass in his direction and Burke grabbed the loose ball to seal Michigan’s victory.
“It was a good pass; it just slipped in my hands,” Johnson explained. “I tried to get to the ball and it just slipped through my hands.”
While Burke took the air out of Purdue, the game slipped away from the Boilermakers when forward Sandi Marcius—an unlikely hero off the bench—suffered an ankle injury in the second half. Marcius had a career-high 13 points under his belt before going down hard while pulling in a rebound.
Painter could not update the condition of Marcius, but his teammates offered high praise of the contributions.
“He was the person that got everyone going,” Johnson said. “He has been the hardest worker that we’ve had inside.”
Following an important road upset of No. 17 Wisconsin, the Boilermakers were riding momentum into Wednesday’s contest, and their improvements are evident, even in a loss.
“We’re making some strides, we’re getting better,” Painter said. “I wish we could’ve done this six weeks ago.”