No. 6 Purdue wins 76-64 at No. 10 Michigan State Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/ncaa/men/gameflash/2010/02/09/60330_recap.html?eref=sihp#ixzz0f9zNLGtw Get a free NFL Team Jacket and Tee with SI Subscription
The Big Ten standings look a lot different than a week ago.
Purdue’s surge and Michigan State’s slump has a lot to do with it.
E’Twaun Moore scored a season-high 25 points and JaJuan Johnson added 19, lifting the sixth-ranked Boilermakers to a 76-64 victory over the 10th-ranked Spartans on Tuesday night.
”It was very big to get them here,” Moore said.
The loss dropped Michigan State into a first-place tie with Illinois, which won at Wisconsin on Tuesday, and Purdue moved into second-place tie with No. 13 Ohio State.
The Boilermakers (20-3, 8-3) have won six straight and the Spartans (19-6, 9-3) have lost three in a row to lose their commanding lead.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo previously predicted the conference champion would have four or five losses.
”We’re getting closer to that number now – unfortunately,” he said.
Michigan State point guard Kalin Lucas played after missing a game with a sprained right ankle.
”Kalin was unbelievable,” teammate Chris Allen said. ”Every time he came down, he tweaked it even more, but he sucked it up.”
Lucas gave Michigan State a three-point lead with 13:16 left in the first half, then Purdue scored twice as much as the Spartans the rest of the first half to take a 47-33 lead.
The Boilermakers made 65 percent of their shots before halftime.
”We didn’t check anybody the first half,” Izzo said. ”Not anybody.
”We haven’t checked in three games and I don’t have an answer for us.”
The Spartans have lost three straight for the first time since a four-game skid in 2007.
Michigan State trailed by 18 points early in the second half, but pulled within three with 4 1/2 minutes left.
The Boilermakers responded with Moore’s 3-pointer and held off the rally to snap a nine-game skid at the Breslin Center and reach the 20-win mark for the fourth straight season.
”It was a great atmosphere – one of the best in college basketball – and it’s tough to play when you can’t hear yourself think,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. ”This is an unbelievable place, and we’re fortunate to get a victory.”
Allen, who scored 21 points, made a 3-pointer to make it 65-62.
”The crowd got real loud when they cut it to three,” Moore said. ”The long one put it back to six and we were OK after that.”
Purdue closed the game with an 11-2 run, making the score lopsided, as it was for much of the night.
”The major surprise to me is a lack of effort right now,” Izzo said. ”When we’re jogging back on defense and they’re going in for layups and dunks, that is effort-related and that’s unacceptable.”
The Spartans’ 12-point loss at home was their biggest since Illinois beat them 81-68 four years ago, and snapped their 18-game winning streak at the Breslin Center since losing to Penn State more than a year ago.
The Boilermakers, coming off their first win at Indiana in more than a decade, won at Michigan State for the first time since 1998.
”It’s great for our seniors because there’s only one place (Ohio State) where they haven’t won,” Painter said. ”You usually have to be 10 to 15 points better than your opponent on the road, and that’s pretty impressive to do that here.”
Purdue has three wins over Top 10 teams for the second time in school history and the first since 1989-90, adding to its previous victories over then-No. 6 West Virginia and then-No. 9 Tennessee.
As usual, three Boilermakers led the way.
Moore scored 14 points and Johnson had 13 in the first half alone. Robbie Hummel finished with 15 points.
Lucas played through pain to scored 12 points in 29 minutes.
”If more guys had his heart, we’d be a little bit better,” Izzo said.
Durrell Summers , who had a season-high 24 points in Michigan State’s previous home game, missed both his shots, scored just two points and watched the entire second half from the bench.
”I just played the guys I thought gave us the best chance to win,” Izzo said when asked why Summers didn’t play after halftime.
As devastated as the Spartans were, Lucas tried to remain upbeat.
”We’re still tied for first place,” he said. ”A lot of people don’t look at it that way.”