Riding the wave of four straight double digit victories, Michigan State came into a hostile environment Tuesday night in West Lafayette. While Purdue was aiming to bounce back from a 72-61 road loss to No. 2 Maryland last Saturday.
After trailing by as many as 18 in the first half, largely due to poor shooting, the Spartans were able to claw their way back in the game in the second half as senior guard Denzel Valentine scored six points on one trip after a foul away from the ball on his first made three-pointer extended the trip. This would prove to be a pivotal moment in the game as Michigan State cut the Boilermaker lead to six.
Following a back and forth final few minutes, Valentine’s missed three-point shot with 0:02 seconds left would send the game to overtime tied 72-72. With the Spartans undersized in comparison to Purdue, foul trouble would be a major factor as freshman forward Deyonta Davis and junior forward Gavin Schilling both fouled out in the overtime period. The game would come down to one last possession as Valentine tied the game for Michigan State, however Purdue would have one last shot. A foul by Valentine with 4.3 seconds left would send Boilermakers senior guard Rapheal Davis to the line where he would hit the game winning free throw to seal an 82-81 loss for the Spartans.
Despite the foul at the end, Valentine played a good game for No. 8 Michigan State(20-5, 7-5 Big Ten) with 27 points and 10 assists to lead the Spartans. Senior forward Matt Costello pitched in 11 points and freshman guard Matt McQuaid scored 10 points on the night.
Davis had quite the game for No. 18 Purdue(20-5, 8-4 Big Ten) with 24 points, including 6 of 8 from beyond the arc. Meanwhile senior center A.J. Hammons contributed on both ends of the floor with 19 points, 13 rebounds and 8 blocks in the win.
The Spartans will have to get over this devastating loss quickly as they return home to the Breslin Center on Valentine’s Day this Sunday to host the Indiana Hoosiers(19-5, 9-2 Big Ten) who are only a half-game out of first place in the Big Ten. The game will be on CBS with opening tip at 1 p.m.