With senior night festivities leading up to Michigan’s contest with the Purdue Boilermakers, and a chance to finish with an undefeated record at home, many expected the Wolverines to throw the first punch Saturday. Unfortunately for John Beilein and company, it was Purdue who got off to the hot start.
“We got down early and we missed some things, and there’s a lot of times it’s not our two seniors that are making the mistakes and when they run their stuff they run it at such a high speed they don’t turn it over and they really look for each other,” said Beilein afterward. “You couldn’t give them much room, they were very selective with their three point shots and they made them.”
Purdue’s efficient shooting from three point range was too much for the Wolverines to overcome early, and then again late after two huge three’s from senior Robbie Hummel. Despite the disappointment of defeat on a night for celebration, Michigan continues to look ahead.
“We’re fine,” said Beilein, “Stu told the team in the locker room, hey if this helps us get better…I didn’t come to Michigan to win on senior night, I came to Michigan to win. If you know this team, I hope that trend continues that when we get beat by a team that played better that night that we get better ourselves.”
Michigan now needs plenty of help if they hope to grab a share of the Big Ten title -- an Ohio State loss and two Michigan State losses would give the Wolverines that chance if they win out.
“We’re going to keep fighting, even if we were mathematically out of it there’s still a lot left to be played for,” said Novak. “It’s not something we can control. We need to control what we can control, we’ve got another one at Illinois coming up, got to win that one and take it one game at a time.”
The immediate emotions after a loss, especially in the midst of a title hunt, are often anger and frustration. But Douglass and the wolverines plan to move on quickly and get the losing out of the way now.
“You don’t want to dwell too much on this,” said Douglass. “We might look back on it and it might be a good thing for us to not achieve one of our goals. This can only be used as motivation, you’ve got to have that back to the wall mentality and I think this will put us closer back to where we need to think and be from a mental standpoint. If we use it like we have every time we’ve lost , it’ll only help us.”
Post game video below with John Beilein, Trey Burke, Stu Douglass and Zack Novak.