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Michigan State upsets No. 4 Purdue in hard-fought 68-65 shocker

Tom Izzo ties Bobby Knight’s 662 career wins for most as a Big Ten head coach.

Purdue v Michigan State Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

The No. 4 Purdue Boilermakers came to East Lansing for a Saturday matchup against the Michigan State Spartans that could help solidify Purdue’s chance for a share of the Big Ten title this season. Tom Izzo and the Spartans remembered the calendar turns to March in three days and sent Purdue packing with a huge 68-65 upset victory. The win also moved Tom Izzo to 662 career wins as head coach of a Big Ten program, tying former Indiana head coach Bobby Knight’s win record.

The Spartans had a strong team effort in this one with four players hitting double figures and six total players scoring at least eight points. Gabe Brown came out of a slump and led the team with 13 points including making three of his five shots from three-point range. Julius Marble II was second in scoring for the team with 12 points and went a perfect 5-for-5 from the field.

Purdue center Zach Edey led all scorers with 25 points, while Jaden Ivey added 16 points. Trevion Williams scored 11 points, the only other Boilermaker to score in double figures.

A.J. Hoggard and Max Christie added 11 points each to round out scorers in double figures. Hoggard added a team high six assists, while Tyson Walker was second on the team with four assists. Walker also added eight points.

Rebounding was a team-wide effort with six Spartans grabbing three boards apiece and 10 Spartans grabbing at least one rebound. However, Purdue did out-rebound Michigan State overall, 34-24. Malik Hall only added two points, hitting just one of his four shots from the field, but led the team in steals with two. Marcus Bingham Jr. also added a team high two blocks, which moved the senior center to 153 career blocks, tying his former teammate Xavier Tillman Sr. for the career lead at Michigan State.

What a first half it was for Michigan State. Brown hit a three-pointer with the assist from Hoggard on the opening possession and the scoring never really slumped for the Spartans. The score bounced back and forth for most of the first half, but neither team could mount a run to push it beyond a two-possession difference. That is, until Brown came sprinting from the corner for the alleyoop from Hoggard, sparking a mini-Spartan run that saw Michigan State push the lead out to 28-21 with 5:24 left in the first half.

The Boilermakers had an answer on MSU runs in the first half, though. That answer was big man Edey down low, who notched 15 points in the first half and drew fouls on multiple Spartan bigs trying to slow him down. Edey was 6-for-8 from the field and went 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. Almost every time in the half that MSU mounted a run, Edey was a key component in stemming the bleeding for Purdue. The primary exception to that was in the final minutes of the half when Edey had to head to the bench with foul trouble, but Purdue still cut the Spartan lead to 35-32 heading into the locker room with a 5-0 run primarily powered by free throws.

Michigan State had a balanced attack with five players posting at least five points in the first half and 11 bench points. Despite the size disadvantage, MSU also saw 12 points in paint and nine points off the fast-break. The turnover problem was equal in the first half, as Michigan State had two steals and gained eight points off of Purdue turnovers. Purdue also had eight points off MSU’s seven turnovers, but the Boilermakers scored 20 points in paint. The scrappy attitude fighting for rebounds by the Spartans was a welcome change, though, as MSU trailed just 16-14 in the rebound battle at the half.

The momentum for Purdue carried over into the Boilermakers’ opening possession as Purdue tied it up at 35 each on a layup by Edey just moments into the second half. However, Michigan State responded with a six-point run and never trailed for the remainder of the game.

The score again remained no more than a two-possession game as the Spartans struggled to pull away until the 12:23 mark when Marble sparked a six-point run of his own to go with Brown’s three-pointer at the 12:54 mark. The 55-44 lead would be the largest margin by any team for the day.

Purdue mounted a 7-2 run of its own to stem the bleeding and cut it back to a two-possession game with 8:20 remaining, capped off by an and-one free throw from Edey after being fouled on a layup he made coming off a MSU turnover. Christie responded to the Purdue run with a dunk of his own with 7:50 left to make it an eight point lead for the Spartans, but that would mark the final moment that MSU fans could breath easy as it would remain a two-possession or tied game for the remainder.

The Boilermakers refused to go quietly in this one. A jumper by Edey with 5:26 remaining finally cut it to a one-possession game for the first time in almost eight minutes. Michigan State also went on a scoring drought of around five-and-a-half minutes during this stretch as well, but luckily for MSU, the Boilermakers were unable to fully capitalize. Purdue managed just five points of its own during that stretch as both teams hit a shooting slump.

Despite Bingham’s alley-oop dunk on an assist from Christie with 3:37 remaining to end the drought, Williams hit back-to-back jumpers to cut MSU’s lead to one, trailing 61-60 with 2:12 remaining. Hoggard and Ivey traded layups, but then with 0:51 remaining, Christie was called for a foul on Ivey, and Ivey hit the first free throw to tie it up. On the rebound for the missed second shot, Ivey was called for his fourth personal foul on Marble, and Marble hit both free throws on the other end.

Purdue had a chance to tie it up or take the lead on the ensuing possession, and did just that. Ivey attempted a layup, but missed. Williams had two chances after Ivey missed his own layup attempt and the game was all tied up at 65 with 0:30 to go. Enter clutch three-point shooter Tyson Walker to the scene of the crime. With just over one second remaining, Tyson Walker drove in the dagger from three-point range and that was all she wrote, folks.

The Spartans finished the game with 19 points from the bench. MSU was tied with Purdue for a mere 1:51 of gameplay and trailed for just 3:26 total in the game. While MSU lost the defensive rebound battle in this one 27-18, the offensive glass was just a one-board deficit of seven to six.

Michigan State moves to 19-9 on the season with the victory and 10-7 in Big Ten action. MSU will kick off a two-game road trip that begins with a trip to Michigan on Tuesday, March 1 at 8:30 p.m. EST. and broadcast on FS1.