WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (DETROIT FREE PRESS) – There are no style points on the road.
Which is what made tonight so satisfying for Michigan.
The Wolverines were nearly blitzed out of Mackey Arena in the first half yet rallied in the second and pulled out an improbable win in overtime, 77-76, over Purdue.
After throwing a wild inbounds pass cross court to Glenn Robinson III with 2.9 seconds left in overtime, he leaned in and scored with no time left for the win in the arena where his father starred.
No. 16 Michigan (20-7, 12-3 Big Ten) sustained its Big Ten lead with three games remaining, holding a full game lead on Michigan State and a two-game lead on Wisconsin.
Improving to 6-2 on the road, U-M now has its most Big Ten road wins since the 1992-93 season, when U-M went 7-2.
The Wolverines looked dead after two late overtime missed layups by Nik Stauskas but got a second life when Purdue's Kendall Stephens missed a free throw to give them the final chance.
Michigan shot under 30% first half but rallied with balanced scoring and Robinson's second half and overtime surge, scoring 14 of his 17 points after halftime to give U-M the late chance.
Purdue (15-13, 5-10) leaned on its guards as Terone Johnson and Ronnie Johnson combined for 45 points.
Michigan trailed by 13 at halftime but came out in the second half looking like a first-place team with a 22-10 run.
Most of it was fueled by simply making shots.
After hitting only two three-pointers before halftime, they hit four in the first 12 minutes of the second half.
They closed within one a few times but struggled to grab the lead.
The first half was another typical road disaster as the Wolverines started 3 of 17 from the field and ended up shooting just 29.6% for the half.
They trailed by 19 points with just over 7 minutes left in the half. Between their porous defense on Purdue's Johnson guards – Terone with 16 and Ronnie with 11 – Michigan could only close within nine points and let the deficit slip by to 13, 37-24, at the half.
Contact Mark Snyder: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mark__snyder.