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>>caption: JOHNSON (L) BLOCKED
A WALTON SHOT FROM BEHIND<<
@ W. LAFAYETTE, IN:
Purdue rolled over Michigan State
like a steam locomotive Tuesday night,
72-54. In the process the Boilermakers
tightened the Big Ten men's basketball
race to put three teams within a game
of each other atop the standings.
The #5 nationally ranked Spartans
are now 10-3 in the conference, a one
game lead on #16 Illinois and #21
Purdue who are both tied for runner-
up at 9-4.
MSU battled not only a swarming Boilermaker defense, but also its own
inability to sink the shots they were able to take.
A 13-3 run early in the 1st-H put Purdue in charge. State got back within 3-P
on multiple occasions including halftime where the Boilermakers led 26-23 when
Purdue played for the last shot, but missed. When the Boilermakers began the
2nd-H on a 7-0 run to go up 33-23, Michigan State was forced to call a timeout
less than 2-mins into the stanza. The closest MSU could come after that was 9-P
at 48-39 off a 7-0 burst highlighted by Draymond Green's 3-point play.
Purdue was boosted by the return of back-injured Robbie Hummel, making his
first start since missing three games with a hairline stress fracture. Hummell
hit a trio of triples and grabbed three rebounds.
MSU committed a season-high 22 turnovers, shot a season-low 32.7% from the
field (just 27% in the 1st-H) and scored a season-low 54-P.
JaJuan Johnson scored a game-high 17-P for Purdue. E'Twaun Moore added
13-P and Hummel 11-P. Keaton Grant came off the bench to get 9-P.
Kalin Lucas had 14-P, Durrell Summers 11-P and Goran Suton 10-P for Michigan
State. Suton and Delvon Roe (2-P) both grabbed a game-high 7-RB.
Michigan State had its three game winning streak stopped to go to 20-5
overall while Purdue won its third straight to improve to 20-6.
MSU hosts Purdue at Breslin Center on March 8th to conclude the regular-
season for both teams.
MSU H-COACH TOM IZZO: "They played well, but we helped them out by missing
some easy shots...When we were down three at halftime, I was elated because
we did not play well. Then, in the second half, I guess that was a meltdown on our
part...We didn't execute anything we talked about at halftime. I don't feel good
about a performance like this in a big-time game."
MSU GD KALIN LUCAS: "We had layups we should have made, but the key was us
making some silly turnovers that if we don't make we win. It was more us than them."
MSU GD TRAVIS WALTON: "Having a fragile side means not being physical enough,
not taking hits, not delivering the hit back when they hit you, and that's what
happened...We talked about that coming into the second half. We said, 'The toughest
team is going to win this game.' And tonight, they were the toughest team."
PURDUE H-COACH MATT PAINTER: "I think it was one of our better performances
defensively of the year. Guys did a good job getting into the basketball, understanding
what Michigan State was trying to do. But maybe more important than anything was
having a concentrated effort, stopping them from getting into transition."
PURDUE FWD ROBBIE HUMMEL: "I have felt really good over the last few days. It's
been a drastic improvement. I've been wearing a brace, but I'm not hurting at all,
and I can move a lot better again."
By dropping its first Big Ten road game this season, the Spartans failed to match
the 7-0 conference away start last achieved by the Magic Johnson-led 1979 MSU
squad that went on to win the NCAA Championship.
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