No. 18 Purdue got off to a hot start, fought off a rally and then rallied again to beat No. 8 Michigan State in overtime 82-81. Guard Rapheal Davis led the Boilermakers with 24 points, 19 of which came in the first half, and drilled six three-pointers. Center A.J. Hammons added 19 points and 13 rebounds.
From the get-go, it looked as though Purdue was bound for a blowout upset win. The Boilermakers led 46-30 at halftime and were just outclassing the Spartans on offense. With Michigan State’s shots simply not falling, all hope seemed lost.
Except, it wasn’t. Michigan State came out guns blazing in the second half and soon went on an 11-0 run to close the gap to 50-44, and then the two teams traded baskets for much of the rest of the half until there were just under two minutes to go and Michigan State led 72-68. Then, Purdue freshman Caleb Swanigan hit a layup followed by a game-tying jumper to force overtime.
That said, given how the Spartans outscored the Boilermakers 42-26 in the second half, momentum appeared to be on their side, right?
Wrong. Swanigan’s jumper electrified the Purdue home crowd and Michigan State just crumbled in overtime. The Spartans committed too many stupid fouls and lost their size when both Deyonta Davis and Gavin Schilling fouled out.
Suddenly, there appeared to be hope. Kenny Goins hit a layup to put Michigan State within two and Denzel Valentine tied it up with a layup of his own. Could the Spartans swing momentum in the hard fought battle?
Sadly, no. Valentine was called for a controversial foul with five seconds remaining and though Davis made just one of two free throws, Hammons grabbed the clutch rebound as the arena exploded in applause.
The worst part about this game was how Michigan State, for all intents and purposes, beat itself. 37 percent of the Spartans’ shot attempts came from long range and the team as a whole made just 38 percent of its field goals. Purdue wasn’t much better at 43 percent, but the Boilermakers at least made 50 percent of their shots from downtown while Michigan State was a mere 39 percent from long range.
Simply put, Michigan State had better right the ship against big and tough Indiana on Sunday after falling to 20-5 (7-5 Big Ten), while Purdue (20-5, 8-4 Big Ten) will look to ride the momentum in a visit to Michigan on Saturday.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports