WEST LAFAYETTE – As the pregame-warmup clock ticked down to zero, Purdue Athletic Director Morgan Burke surfaced at midcourt with a glistening piece of hardware. While the Boilermakers slowly strolled to the general vicinity of their bench, Michigan players and coaches hurried back into the tunnel. The athletic director then gave a rousing speech, presenting last year’s Big Ten championship trophy to the 11,387 raucous Boilermaker faithful. The festivities briefly rocked the crowd, but after a couple minutes, the basketball-starving fans were ready for tip-off. Only one problem: There was no sign of the Maize and Blue.

Following a few moments of confusion, the public address announcer smoothly preached over the microphone, “We need the Wolverines to report to the arena please.” Seconds later, Michigan jogged back onto the court. The Wolverines had shown up to play, but with the way they took care of the ball, staying in the lockerroom may not have been a bad idea.

Michigan (0-3 Big Ten, 9-5 overall) dropped its third-straight game in a 69-52 loss to No. 7 Purdue (2-1, 13-2) and continued to take poor care of the ball, turning it over 22 times.

The Maize and Blue came out rusty early in the first half as freshman Rachel Carney and senior Raina Goodlow threw up consecutive airballs in the Wolverines’ first two possessions. Michigan tied the game at two in its third possession when Gandy hit a midrange jumper. Smith converted an impressive runner in traffic, knotting the game at four. Unfortunately, this was the last time Purdue didn’t hold the lead. The Boilermakers controlled the next three minutes and produced a 9-0 run quickly making the score 13-4.

The game played evenly for the next four minutes, and at the 7:50 mark, Michigan trailed 19-11. After a Purdue timeout, the Boilermakers ran off another 9-0 run and took a 28-11 lead. Michigan gained some ground in the final five minutes, and freshman Lauren Andrews hit a jumper, while being fouled at the buzzer. With no time on the clock, Andrews converted her free throw and Michigan faced a 36-24 halftime deficit. The most telling statistic of the first half, and especially the two big Purdue runs, was Michigan’s 12 turnovers – many of which directly translated into Boilermaker fast breaks.

“Until we stop turning the ball over, giving teams 25-29 points a game off turnovers, we’re not going to win very many games in the Big Ten,” Michigan coach Sue Guevara said.

Purdue came out strong in the second half, creating a 51-28 lead by outscoring the Wolverines 15-4 in the first nine minutes. The Boilermakers coasted the rest of the half, milking each possession down to the last few seconds and converting numerous back-breaking jumpers as the shot clock expired.

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