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Grant leads Purdue past Michigan

Mar 10, 2008 - 12:00 AM ANN ARBOR, Michigan (Ticker) -- Keaton Grant hit two big 3-point baskets late in the second half and finished with 17 points as 15th-ranked Purdue rallied for a 72-58 victory at Michigan in the Big Ten Conference on Sunday.

The victory helped Purdue (24-7, 15-3 Big Ten) clinch second place for the Big Ten tournament after Indiana was upset by Penn State in overtime earlier in the day. That makes the Boilermakers a good bet to win a championship. In the 10 years the Big Ten has held a postseason tournament, the second seed has won five times.

Purdue trailed for most of the game, but a flurry of baskets beginning with a 3-pointer by Grant, a steal and a hoop by Marcus Green and another shot from the arc by Grant erased a 50-46 Michigan lead.

"They (Purdue) hit a shot; we throw the ball away on the inbounds when Kelvin (Grady) throws the ball in bounds," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "He never is the one to throw the ball in play, but he did on this play. Then we have an open shot and miss, and they have an open shot and make it and there's your eight points (in 43 seconds)."

The Boilermakers eventually built an advantage of 64-54 with 3:50 remaining when Chris Kramer hit a 3-pointer.

"I thought we did a very good job of finishing the game," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "They (Michigan) defended well and we had some open shots we just didn't hit. The last 10 minutes of the game (Marcus) Green gave us some energy and Keaton Grant hit some big shots."

Michigan (9-21, 5-13) came out inspired in its final home game, taking a quick 5-0 lead on Purdue when senior Ron Coleman hit a 3-point basket at the 17:16 mark.

The Wolverines held the lead for most of the first half, working the advantage to 14-8 on Anthony Wright's 3-pointer with 12:43 left before the break.

However, Michigan's Manny Harris, the team's leading scorer, was tagged with his second foul and stayed on the bench for the remaining 12:05 of the half, scoring just two points.

Purdue caught Michigan at 16-16 with 8:40 to play in the first half on a pair of free throws by Kramer. The Boilermakers finally grabbed their first lead of the game at the 6:53 mark, 20-18, after Green's two free throws and the lead see-sawed for the rest of the half.

"We got some looks at the basket," Painter said. "In the first half we challenged them (the Wolverines) too much, double-teaming them, making one pass too many on offense. We changed things up and we were able to take their turnovers and convert them."

E'Twaun Moore also scored 17 points and freshman classmate Robbie Hummel added 11 points for the Boilermakers, who shot 40 percent (22-of-55) from the field.

"I was eager to see just from a competitive standpoint how we would play, knowing you're not going to win the Big Ten even if you win this game, if we would leave it on the line," Painter said. "We made some great strides and played with great effort today."

Sophomore forward DeShawn Sims scored 19 points to lead Michigan. It was Sims' personal high in a conference game.

Ekpe Udoh added 13 points and Harris finished with 10 for the Wolverines, which shot 36 percent (20-of-56) from the floor in dropping to 0-9 against ranked opponents this season.

"We played well for the first 32 minutes, but it was a different story in the last eight," Beilein said. "Obviously we held our own in the first half, but they came out strong in the second half."