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No . 2 Purdue beats Michigan State, clinches a share of Big Ten title

Madeline Kenney, The Detroit News on

Published in Basketball

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Tom Izzo tempered expectations heading into Saturday’s game at No. 2 Purdue.

He wanted to see Michigan State play well. If the Spartans fell short against the second-best team in the country at a place they haven’t won in over 10 years, he could live with it.

But he made clear what he can’t tolerate.

“I can’t live with not playing very well and not winning,” Izzo said after practice this week.

For a moment in the second half on Saturday, it looked like the Spartans had collapsed under the weight of the mighty Boilermakers. After taking a three-point lead at halftime, Purdue jumped to a 15-point lead after opening the second half on a 16-4 run.

But something jolted the Spartans back to life. Near the 11:15 mark, Michigan State started to close in on Purdue. Hoggard led the team on a 7-0 run that pulled it within three points of Purdue with 9:16 left. Michigan State would get within five four times but no closer for the remainder of the game as Purdue beat the Spartans 80-74 and claimed at least a share of the Big Ten regular-season title.

 

In a game full of whistles — some of which drew ire from Izzo — Zach Edey scored a game-high 32 points and went 14 of 20 from the free-throw line. Braden Smith added 23 points for Purdue.

Saturday night was an opportunity for Michigan State to prove that its veteran-led squad has what it takes to battle with the best. The Spartans showed promise with a strong start, leading by eight points over the halfway point of the first half.

The game started to unravel for the Spartans in the second half. While they didn’t give up, they never could fully play their way back into the game and ultimately lost their third straight.

Tyson Walker finished with 14 points on 5-of-15 shooting and had seven rebounds and four assists. Jaden Akins had 13 points and Malik Hall had 12. Xavier Booker tied a career-high with 11 points.

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