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Purdue 77 Michigan State 61 | He’s Just Tall

Purdue and Edey bury the Spartans at home at Mackey Arena to solidify their #1 status.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Purdue Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue started the game looking to get the ball into Zach Edey while also forcing MSU into more of a half court game to keep them out of transition. Early on, the Spartans were able to get up the court quickly to get good looks off dribble penetration but Purdue countered that by dropping further back off made baskets instead of jamming the ball handler at 34 court. Defensively, MSU took what Purdue was giving them in the mid-range and some floaters and connected early on but after Purdue’s adjustments, Edey was able to patrol the lane better and prevent easy buckets at the rim.

At the 13:30 mark, Brandon Newman ended a scoring drought for the Boilers by draining a long 3 from the top of the key that pushed the lead to 3 and the Boilers didn’t look back the rest of the first half. David Jenkins continued his return to his regular shooting form as he hit two huge three point shots in late clock moments, none as big as his 1st half ending three off a Braden Smith drive and kickout. MSU just had no answer for Edey inside as Sisoko and the other front court players for MSU were constantly buried deep in the post.

To start the second half, Braden Smith stuck two free throws due to Tom Izzo being given a technical foul after complaining about a Malik Hall illegal screen that led to Purdue’s late three pointer. Edey was again dominate in the second half and he frequently was able to get to the rim off Purdue’s actions to establish him on the block. MSU tried to take advantage of their outside shooting by going with Malik Hall in the post to stretch Purdue out and got the lead down to 10 by going on a 12-4 from the 16 minute media timeout to the 12 minute media timeout.

However, Edey was just too much on the day as he buried Sisoko time and again for 38 points on 15-24 shooting with 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, and 3 steals. Edey’s success in this game was no more evident than the sequence on back to back possessions where MSU went to double him in the post but he was able to find a diving Morton for a layup and an open Jenkins for a 3. Jenkins was able to continue his streak of shooting well by going 3-4 from behind the arc for 11 points with his only miss being a late shot clock heave with under a minute left.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Purdue Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State just couldn’t string much together except the run they took in the second half but Purdue quickly went back to Edey in the post to stall them out and never let the lead dip below 10. The Spartans were led by AJ Hoggard who had 20 points while Akins had 12. Tyson Walker, who killed the Boilers in their previous game, had only 9 points on 4-11 shooting and just wasn’t able to get himself free as much as he did previously.

Purdue was dominate in nearly all phases of the game except in their free throw shooting where they went just 12-22. However, Purdue outrebounded the Spartans 37-26, dominated points in the paint 42-24, had a 21-13 advantage in bench points, and had 21 assists to MSU’s 14. This is the level of basketball that Purdue can play when they are this cohesiveness and shooting this well from beyond the arc. In the post game conference Jenkins echoed this sentiment by saying:

“I want to see the freshman succeed. I sent Braden a long text telling him how proud I am of him. It’s hard to come in and adjust coming in and being successful.”

Purdue’s next game is at home against Penn State on February 1st and take on a team that is shooting 38.3% from behind the arc as a team and play a tough and physical brand of basketball under former Purdue assistant Micah Shrewsberry that has given Purdue issues trying to initiate their offense.