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Harris' hard foul, second-half surge pushes Purdue past Michigan

Feb 1, 2009 - 12:44 AM WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana (Ticker) -- Michigan's Manny Harris literally knocked Purdue out of its early doldrums.

Harris' ejection following a vicious elbow to Chris Kramer ignited a second-half run for the 17th-ranked Boilermakers, who rolled to a 67-49 thrashing of the Wolverines on Saturday afternoon.

"It's a good sign if you play bad and still get the victory," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "It's a sign of a good team. When you're not at 100 percent and you can still accumulate victories, that's also a sign of a good team."

Entering with a five-game winning streak, Purdue (17-4, 6-2 Big Ten) got off to a brutal start against the struggling Wolverines (14-8, 4-6) and entered the break trailing, 26-25.

But after Michigan took a 29-27 lead early in the second half, the game turned drastically on an ugly play involving Harris, the Wolverines' leader in scoring, rebounding and assists.

After receiving a pass outside the arc with 18:28 remaining, Harris threw a hard elbow into Kramer's nose while attempting to clear out some space. The 6-5 sophomore immediately was whistled for a technical foul and was ejected, ending a rough afternoon in which he managed just five points.

Kramer, Purdue's top defensive player, was temporarily knocked out and was bleeding. The junior, who donned a protective facemask after being attended to, said that team doctors believe he suffered a broken nose on the play.

"I was out," Kramer said. "Then I woke up and there was a pool of blood around me."

Michigan coach John Beilein argued Harris' ejection, claiming that it was not an intentional elbow.

"I argued that he was just transferring his position," Beilein said. "Kramer is such a great defender and plays on people so tightly. But Manny was just trying to transfer his position."

While Harris' ejection deflated the Wolverines, it clearly inspired the Boilermakers, who went on a 30-8 run over the next 11 1/2 minutes to take a commanding 57-37 lead with 6:46 remaining.

E'Twaun Moore scored 17 points while Robbie Hummel added 13 for Purdue, which has won its last three meetings with Michigan.

Moore acknowledged that Kramer's return to the contest with 14:53 remaining provided Purdue with an emotional boost.

"He's a tough kid," Moore said. "But it was great to see him come back, and we knew he'd have some fire."

Jevohn Shepherd and DeShawn Sims each scored 10 points to pace the Wolverines, who have lost their last four road games.

Aside from the loss of Harris, Michigan already was without starting guard Zack Novak, who was suspended one game after committing a flagrant foul in Wednesday's loss at Ohio State.

Harris and Novak were averaging a combined 24.5 points per game prior to Saturday's contest.