No. 7 Michigan St. holds off pesky Purdue 76-62
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Draymond Green had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Austin Thornton had a career-high 17 points to lead No. 7 Michigan State past short-handed Purdue 76-62 on Sunday.
By winning their second straight in West Lafayette and sweeping the Boilermakers this season, the Spartans (22-5, 11-3) took a one-game lead in the Big Ten title chase.
Purdue (17-10, 7-7) had a three-game winning streak snapped. Robbie Hummel finished with 24 points to lead the Boilermakers, who played without starting guard Kelsey Barlow and swingman D.J. Byrd. Both were disciplined after an incident Friday night outside a local bar.
And the Boilers missed their scorers, opening the second half by going 1 of 23 from the field.
After trailing 38-35 at halftime, Michigan State reverted to its traditionally tough form.
Thornton got things started by making a midrange jumper. Derrick Nix then posted up for a layup, Keith Appling hit 1 of 2 free throws, Brandon Wood knocked down a 3-pointer and Thornton scored on a putback to give the Spartans a 45-38 lead with 14:35 left in the game.
Purdue, meanwhile, didn't score until Hummel made two free throws with 13:54 to go and didn't get its first basket until Ryne Smith made a 3-pointer 49 seconds later.
But that was Purdue's only basket until Anthony Johnson finally broke the ice with back-to-back 3s to make it 62-52, the second coming with 6:05 to play.
But the 27-8 spurt was too much for the Boilermakers.
Hummel, who went 0 for 11 with two points in the first meeting this season, made sure there was no chance of a repeat.
After missing his first two shots and seeing the Boilermakers fall into an early 12-7 hole, the fifth-year senior rallied his teammates. Hummel scored six straight points to tie the score at 27 with 4:45 to go in the first half and spurred Purdue's late 8-4 mini-run that made it 38-35 at halftime against a Michigan State team that was allowing just 58.5 points per game coming into Sunday.
Hummel scored 16 of his 24 points in the half.