ANN ARBOR, Michigan — Zach Edey had 15 of his 19 points in the first half and Fletcher Loyer finished with 17 points to help the No.
The Boilermakers (20-1, 9-1 Big Ten) went on a 15-0 run to take a 41-28 halftime lead after 10 lead changes and four ties, but couldn’t break away .
The Wolverines (11-9, 5-4) were without freshman standout Jett Howard, who sat out the game with an ankle injury, and held on until the final seconds.
Joey Baker hit a 3-pointer – from the glass – with 5.9 seconds left to bring Michigan within three points, but Purdue’s Brandon Newman sealed the win with two free throws.
Purdue coach Matt Painter said Michigan slowed Edey in the second half by pushing him away from the basket.
“They dug it out some more and bottled it,” Painter said.
The 7-foot-4 Edey, however, was too tough to stop early in the game.
“He’s one of the best in the country for a reason,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. “It’s very effective, especially if he’s 8 feet tall and in.”
With size and skills like a hook shot, the Toronto junior center scored Purdue’s first seven points and finished the first half 7-of-12 from the field and 1-of-2 on the line.
“He did a great job in the first half, going right shoulder and using his left hand,” Painter said. “He made four baskets with his left hand which is huge.”
Freshman Braden Smith had 10 points for the Boilermakers.
Purdue’s defense ultimately negated Michigan’s comeback hopes, holding a 22nd straight opponent to 70 or fewer points.
Hunter Dickinson had 21 points, Kobe Bufkin had 16 points and Baker added 11 points for the Wolverines, who have lost four of their last six games.
Dickinson, a 7-1 center, matched Edey defensively and pulled him out of the lane offensively making 3-of-7 3-pointers.
“Half of his shots were from the 3, and this one’s a little different,” Painter said. “His meat and his potatoes are on that block. He’s the real deal.
The Boilermakers took first place in the AP Top 25 this week after winning six games, a stretch that followed a loss to Rutgers on Jan. 3 that dropped them from No. 1 in the poll. Purdue improved to 7-2 as the first-place team.
Purdue: Edey can’t beat teams on his own and is surrounded by many role players and a potential star player in Loyer. The 6-4 guard was the Big Ten pick of the week earlier this month, becoming the first Boilermaker freshman to win the award since Robbie Hummel in 2008.
“Fletcher is someone who has played better in the second half and on the road,” Painter said.
Michigan: Jett Howard’s health is critical for the Wolverines, who will have work to do in the second half of the Big Ten season to avoid missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015. Howard is averaging 14, 6 points and is the most dynamic player in his father’s team.
The Boilermakers were away 12 of 23 days, winning all five of their games on the road. They won at Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan for the first time since the 1997-98 season and beat the Spartans and Wolverines on home field in the same season for the first time in 12 years.
Purdue: Host Michigan State on Sunday, nearly two weeks after the Boilermakers beat the Spartans by a point on Edey’s shooting with 2.2 seconds left.
Michigan: Play Penn State on Sunday.
Zach Edey has 19 points, #1 Purdue beats Michigan 75-70 originally appeared on NBCSports.com