After a tight second half that Purdue broke open in the final minute, the Boilermakers beat Michigan State, 75-65 Tuesday night in Mackey Arena. It was the fourth straight win against the Spartans.
There were multiple points in the second half that the Spartans (10-9, 4-9 Big Ten) could have surged past the Boilermakers, but Purdue (14-8, 9-6) always seemed to have an answer.
Strong 3-point shooting early in the final 20 minutes of play by Michigan State forward Joey Hauser kept the Spartans close in the game.
Junior guard Eric Hunter Jr. hit Purdue's first 3-pointer of the game five minutes into the second half. He finished the game with 15 points. The Boilers were 0 of 7 from long range in the first half. Coach Matt Painter lauded him for his game today.
"He's taking what the defense is giving him," Painter said. "It's just his efficiency. He knocked down a couple threes, he's six for eight, he doesn't turn the ball over, he does a good job on the defensive end."
The Boilermakers turned to junior forward Trevion Williams when their offense struggled. He bullied Michigan State's interior, accumulating 28 points and six rebounds. Late in the first half, he finished a drive with a punctual dunk to push the Purdue lead to 3 points.
Williams spoke about his mindset coming into the game.
"Going into this game, coach kind of harped on me and Zach being physical," Williams said. "Putting those guys to the rim. We wanted to come out with that mindset and being dominant down low."
Williams' shot, made with 53 seconds left in the game, all but iced it for the Boilermakers. The star center muscled the ball into the hoop to put Purdue up 7. His teammates were ecstatic about his teammate's game.
"Trevion is tough." Hunter Jr. said. "I think I've seen him make every different type of shot at this point."
Freshman guard Jaden Ivey kept it simple as to why Williams had a dominant game.
"No one on this roster can guard Tre because he's just so versatile," Ivey said. "Those shots that he takes are just tough, you can't really do anything about them. It just shows how Tre works on his craft."
Ivey played well in the second half. In an electric sequence, he hit a 3-pointer, blocked a Michigan State shot and assisted Hunter Jr. for another 3 points. Ivey finished with 11 points. He felt this sequence made an impact in the game.
"That part of the game pushed us to this win," Ivey said. "That just gave the whole team energy. Those are plays that bring teams to win games."
The Spartans outrebounded the Boilermakers 36-28, a rare occurrence for this Purdue team.
But Michigan State lost the turnover battle 16-7, including a crucial travel call with about four minutes left amid a nearly three-minute scoring drought.
Both teams turned around their poor first-half free-throw percentages. As they were in the double-bonus with two minutes left in the game, free throws became crucial in deciding the contest.
Purdue returns to action at 5:30 p.m., Saturday when it travels to Nebraska. The game will be broadcast by the Big Ten Network.
• The win was Purdue's fourth straight over Michigan State, the Boilermakers' longest streak against the Spartans since winning seven straight games from March 1993 to Feb. 1997.
• Purdue has won five straight home games against Michigan State by a combined 67 points. The five straight home wins are the longest at Mackey Arena since winning six straight from March 1968 to Feb. 1975.
• Purdue is now 54-9 at home against Big Ten foes since the start of the 2014-15 season. Purdue's 63 wins are the most in league play since the start of the 2016-17 season.
• When Purdue's freshman class scores at least 30 points, Purdue is now 9-2, after scoring 31 points in the win over Michigan State.
• Purdue's seven turnovers are its fewest since having six against Notre Dame on Dec. 19, 2020.
• Purdue scored 48 points in the paint, equaling a season high also set against Indiana State.
• Williams had 28 points, six rebounds, three assists, one steal and one blocked shot. In two games against Michigan State this season, Williams scored 54 points with 15 rebounds, and five assists in only 57 minutes of action.
• Purdue outscored Michigan State, 48-24, in the paint.
• Michigan State’s bench outscored Purdue’s, 34-11.
• Purdue led the game 35:52 while MSU led 1:51. Purdue’s largest lead was 12 with 0:17 to go in the game. The Spartans’ largest lead was 1.
• After going 0-7 from 3-point range in the first half, Purdue was 3 of 5 in the second.
– Purdue Athletics contributed to this report.
After a foul-ridden first half, Purdue leads Michigan State, 30-27.
In the first five minutes alone, the Boilermakers (13-8, 8-6 Big Ten) and the Spartans (10-8, 4-8 Big Ten) had accumulated seven fouls between them. This trend continued throughout much of the first half. The teams finished the half with 10 fouls each.
The constant whistles seemed to affect both offenses early in the game. Michigan State threw the ball out of bounds on some possessions in the half. Purdue had multiple possessions where the team was working against the shot clock, including one where junior forward Trevion Williams hit a floater that was disallowed after review.
Purdue's focus early on was to push the ball inside. Its first 6 points came from Williams and freshman center Zach Edey, and they scored 18 of Purdue's 30 points.
Williams leads the Boilermakers with 12 points, shooting an efficient six of nine from the field.
Twenty-eight of the Boilermakers' 30 points were in the paint. The only points that weren't were due to free throws. Purdue has not hit a 3-point shot in the half.
The game would have been closer if it wasn't for Michigan State's shooting performance from the free-throw line. They hit four of eight from the charity stripe in the half.
With about three minutes left in the half, forward Joey Hauser hit a go-ahead 3 for the Spartans. It seemed like this basket opened the floodgates for both offenses late in the half, as they scored on a combined six straight possessions towards the end of a lethargic first half.