Michigan State Falls to 4-9 in Big Ten Play with Loss to Purdue

Late game turnovers by Michigan State and Purdue's dominance in the paint lead to MSU's ninth Big Ten loss.
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The last time these two teams met, Michigan State blew a 17-point lead, allowing Purdue to steal one as Trevion Williams hit a short jumper in the final seconds.

The loss sent MSU's season into a downward spiral.

For the first time since 2007, the Spartans lost four-games in a row and experienced their worst home loss in the Tom Izzo era.

There are six regular season games left (Michigan & Indiana have yet to be rescheduled), meaning Michigan State desperately needs to leave Mackey Arena with a win to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive.

Neither squad got going offensively in the first half. Both sides scored a combined nine points in six minutes, and the Spartans experienced multiple scoring droughts themselves (not surprising).

At the 7:31 mark, Michigan State had made one of their last nine field goals, but Purdue failed to take advantage, leading 14-10.

However, minutes later, the Spartan offense came to life – Joey Hauser drained back-to-back 3-pointers, giving them a small lead before a defensive lapse provided an easy layup for the Boilermakers.

Rocket Watts, who Izzo said tested negative for the coronavirus but still didn't feel well checked in and provided an instant spark (Watts didn't score; instead, he dished out four assists).

After attempting to double and triple-team Iowa's star center Luka Garza, Izzo elected to play Purdue's big men straight up.

The results? PU scored 28 of their 30 first-half points in the paint and went 0-7 from deep, but MSU kept it close, only down three at intermission.

Michigan State opened the second half with two turnovers; but, Joshua Langford hit two buckets for five straight points, and with 11:54 left, the Spartans still trailed by three (45-42).

Sophomore forward Julius Marble found his stroke (10-points after halftime), scoring eight of MSU's previous 11 and keeping Michigan State in it.

He also forced Zach Edey to commit his fourth foul (45 total fouls were called), which helped the Spartans minimize Purdue's size, but thanks to back-to-back threes, Purdue extended its lead to seven points with less than eight minutes remaining (the largest all-game).

Williams played majority of the second half in foul trouble and still dominated down low. The 6-foot-10, 265-pound center started to take control with four minutes remaining, scoring seven straight while attempting to put the Spartans away.  

With under a minute on the clock, Izzo called a timeout in hopes of drawing something up to dig into a seven-point Purdue lead, but an untimely turnover by Hauser sealed MSU's fate. 

The Spartans fall to 4-9 in the Big Ten, making it nearly impossible for them to reach the postseason. 

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