Purdue Falls Flat Against Michigan State
Michigan State guard Tyson Walker hit the game-winning shot with three seconds left in the game Saturday afternoon to prevail on its home court, 68-65, against No. 4 Purdue.
Going into the game, the Spartans (19-9, 10-7 in the Big Ten) had lost four of their previous five games and the Boilermakers (24-5, 15-5) had them on the ropes heading down the stretch of Saturday’s game at Breslin Center. Instead, by pulling out a victory, the Spartans prevented the Boilermakers from possibly taking the lead in the conference standings.
Wisconsin defeated Rutgers tonight, 66-61, and with the combination of a Purdue loss the Badgers moved into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.
Before Walker’s game-winning shot, he had not scored since a layup at the 8:40 mark of the first half and he attempted only one three-pointer in the second half. His shot was over the outstretched arm of Trevion Williams, who hit the game-winner the last time these teams met at Breslin Center on Jan. 8, 2021.
After trailing the Spartans by 11 points midway through the second half, the Boilers clawed back and Jaden Ivey, who had 16 points, hit one of two free throws for a 63-63 deadlock with 51 seconds left in the game.
Most of the offense stood on the shoulders of 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey who finished with a career-high 25 points. Edey picked up the slack against a Spartan team intent on stopping Purdue’s three-point threat. Despite making a season-low one three-pointer, the Boilers still had a shot at getting out of East Lansing with a win.
But they’ll look back on their 17 turnovers, tying for the most in one game this season, as another factor that prevented a big road victory.
“Our inability to stay consistent and not turn the basketball over has really hurt us. Especially on the road,” said coach Matt Painter after the game.
This loss makes Tuesday night's game against Wisconsin big. A win for Purdue would move them into a tie for first but a loss would put them in a hole they might not be able to get out of.
Tip-off in Madison is set at 9 p.m.