The No. 7-seed Michigan State Spartans were defeated by the No. 3-seed Purdue Boilermakers Saturday afternoon by a final score of 75-70. Purdue will move on to play the No. 5-seed Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Tournament finals on Sunday.
It’s the first time that Purdue defeated Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament, having lost four consecutive tournament matchups to MSU.
Both teams started off slowly with several scoring droughts occurring in the first few minutes. Within those minutes, MSU lost both of its point guards, A.J. Hoggard and Tyson Walker, to ankle rolls on back-to-back possessions. Walker ended up back in the locker room again minutes later and wouldn’t return. Hoggard would return a couple minutes later.
It was obvious that Purdue was the more-talented team once the Boilermakers were off to a 8-0 run. That forced MSU into its first timeout. Suddenly it was halftime and Purdue led Michigan State by a score of 27-20.
Neither offense produced much in the first half. Both continued to miss open shots, struggle on possessions and turn the ball over.
For the Spartans, the team’s three-point shooting percentage was a measly eight percent in the first 20 minutes. Michigan State made one of its first 12 attempts from behind the arc. The only player with a made first-half three-pointer was senior Marcus Bingham Jr.
Unfortunately for the Spartans, it continued to unravel. Among the walls falling down were two blatant missed out-of-bounds plays from Big Ten officials; one missed on a steal by Michigan State and one on a steal by Purdue. Both resulted in points for both teams so it was even, but concerning.
Even with the controversial no-calls throughout the game, it doesn’t explain how Michigan State was so inefficient until halfway through the second half.
Defense was the least of Michigan State’s concerns for most of the game. The Spartans were unable to make shots and hold sophomore center, who towers at 7-foot-4, Zach Edey from scoring. Although Purdue didn’t seem to utilize him as much as possible. Edey ended his night with 11 points.
The Boilermakers were carried by sophomore guard Jaden Ivey who put up 22 points. The Ivey Show was fun to watch, at least for Purdue, as somehow he ended up making a behind-the-back shot while falling on his tailbone. He played the most and had the most impact on the court.
Then the fight came for Michigan State. Within several minutes, the Spartans fought back from down 13 and made it a two-point contest, 49-47, with 9:30 to play. It was then 52-49, Purdue leading, with 8:48 left in the game. MSU’s offense started to click as it made seven of its last nine from the field.
Almost simultaneously, junior Julius Marble II fouled out. His night ended with four points.
With less than six minutes left in the game, MSU was back within one point at 57-56 as senior Gabe Brown started lighting up three-point shots. Then Purdue started to pull ahead as senior Eric Hunter Jr. sank two-straight wide-open shots from behind the arc. He ended the night with 11 points. Brown, meanwhile, finished the night with 16 points.
Hoggard’s 17 points led the Spartans from the bench, although he played a career-high 34 minutes due to Walker’s injury. While freshman Max Christie, junior Malik Hall and Bingham had nine points each. Redshirt senior Joey Hauser was almost completely absent from the game. He went 0-for-4 from the field, 0-for-3 from behind the arc and had four total rebounds.
Purdue started to pull back ahead with a 10-1 run. Suddenly, Michigan State trailed 67-57 with three minutes to play. Eventually the score went final at 75-70. Still, it was a fun conference tournament run for the Spartans while it lasted.
The NCAA Tournament Selection Show takes place tomorrow, Sunday evening, at 6 p.m. Eastern Time on CBS. Michigan State was last projected to be seeded at No. 8, but tonight’s showing and the two wins in the Big Ten Tournament could help improve placement.
Purdue will take on Iowa on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time on CBS.