Michigan St. 62, Purdue 55
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP)—Paul Davis scored 21 points and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds and Michigan State almost didn’t miss at the free throw line in a 62-55 win over Purdue on Tuesday night.
The Spartans made 24 of 26 free throws—missing only one in each half—and connected on 10 straight during the final 3:33.
Michigan State (14-10, 9-3 Big Ten) moved into a first-place tie with the Wisconsin Badgers with its ninth victory in 11 games.
Brandon McKnight scored 16 and Brett Buscher had 11 for the Boilermakers (16-9, 6-6).
Purdue’s top two scorers—Kenneth Lowe and David Teague—struggled. They both made only one-of-eight shots and combined for just seven points, nearly 19 below their average.
Each time the Spartans tried to pull away, Purdue wouldn’t let them.
Michigan State went ahead 52-42 with just under five minutes left, but the Boilermakers cut their deficit to three.
After Kelvin Torbert, who scored 16, made two free throws to give the Spartans a five-point lead, McKnight’s two free throws pulled Purdue within three with 23.1 seconds left.
Davis, who was 11-of-11 at the line, made two free throws with 2.9 seconds left. Lowe missed a 3-pointer and Buscher could not convert a putback just before the buzzer.
The Spartans are 44-2 in the Big Ten at home since the 1998-99 season.
Both teams may not have been pleased that a national television audience watched the game, especially in the first half.
It took 5:19 for Michigan State to make a basket. Purdue needed almost four minutes to connect on a field goal.
And it didn’t get much better after the sluggish start.
The Spartans had almost as many turnovers (nine) and fouls (eight) as points (12), but only trailed 16-12 because Purdue was 5-of-16 with nine fouls and six turnovers. Michigan State led 28-23 at halftime.
The Spartans finished shooting 40.9 percent and limited Purdue to 34 percent shooting. The teams combined for 30 turnovers and 48 fouls.