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Sam Harrigan | | January 16, 2023

No. 3 Purdue escapes Michigan State's upset bid

Texas, Xavier and Clemson surge in Andy Katz's latest Power 36 men's college basketball rankings

EAST LANSING, MI — In front of an electric, sold-out crowd of 14,797 at the Breslin Center, the third-ranked Purdue Boilermakers escaped unranked Michigan State 64-63.

Purdue was hot early, jumping out to a nine-point lead at the under-12 timeout in the first half.

Michigan State had just 11 points nearly 15 minutes into the first half. But A.J. Hoggard and Tyson Walker got hot and poured on a combined 12 points in the remaining six minutes of the half to cut the Spartans' deficit to 27-25 at the break.

Zach Edey, Purdue's 7'4 center and the front-runner for National Player of the Year, was fantastic all day for the Boilermakers. He secured his 10th straight double-double, this time needing just the first half.  He scored 17 of Purdue's 27 points and secured 10 of their 16 rebounds in the frame to power the Boilers in front at the break.

Purdue's end-of-half struggles continued after halftime, where Michigan State took its first lead since its early 6-5 advantage. The teams went back and forth throughout the half, as they alternated runs.

Tyson Walker took the game over once again with a pair of threes that had the Breslin Center shaking. But Purdue was unfazed as Caleb Furst countered Walker's first three with one of his own, and Fletcher Loyer converted an and-one opportunity to cut Michigan State's lead to just one with three minutes to go.

A close finish was hardly surprising in a contest with eight ties and 13 lead changes. 

With 32 seconds, Fletcher Loyer made two free throws to give Purdue a 62-61 lead. On the ensuing possession Tyson Walker, whose 30 points led the Spartans, knocked down a key jumper to put Michigan State back in front with just 12 seconds left. On Purdue's final possession of the afternoon, they found Zach Edey once again, who, with three seconds remaining knocked down his 13th made field goal of the day, this time a turnaround hook shot that gave the Boilermakers a lead they would not relinquish.

Michigan State had an opportunity to win the game, but their buzzer-beating attempt was partially blocked, and Purdue narrowly escaped their thrilling Monday matinee with Michigan State.

Edey was the story of the afternoon, scoring a career-high 32 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Only five Boilermakers scored this afternoon, with only Loyer (17 points) and Edey reaching double-figures.

Michigan State made more shots and snagged more rebounds than Purdue. But 16 made free throws for the Boilers, compared to just seven for the Spartans proved to be the difference in a thrilling Big Ten game.

Purdue leaves East Lansing with a 17-1 record (6-1 Big Ten) and sole possession of first place in the conference. They head to Minnesota on Thursday afternoon to match up with the last-place Gophers.

Michigan State (12-6, 4-3 Big Ten) will stay at home and host Rutgers on Thursday night in East Lansing.

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