Bates-Diop's putback with 2.8 seconds remaining Wednesday was the high point of an Ohio State season that, improbably, has the Buckeyes in position to win the Big Ten. This is the only scheduled meeting between the schools.
With a double-digit lead of 10 points heading into the second half, the Buckeyes spent the second half expanding their lead. Is the swagger gone? The Spartans seemingly flipped a switch and began making everything hard for the Boilermakers, who went scoreless for over three minutes and missed nine of 10 shots from the field. During their second game this season, the then-No. MSU beat then-No. 5 Notre Dame, 81-63, on December 3.
Andre Wesson chipped in a career-high 13 points to help the Buckeyes beat Purdue. Ohio State has six 3-pointers while Iowa has two. After spending some time there, Izzo moved to East Lansing, where he would be an assistant under the great Jud Heathcote for over a decade.
The game plan was clear for Michigan State on Saturday afternoon when it took on Purdue - don't let the Boilermakers' shooters win the game.
Michigan State, meanwhile, has won seven straight since a January 13 loss at home against Michigan, but they've hardly been convincing in many of those wins. The Boilermakers are also one of the best passing teams in all of College Basketball as they are dishing out almost 18 assists per game. Saturday, it was the Big Ten's preseason Player of the Year, Bridges, who delivered a dagger from 25 feet over Mathias' outstretched arm with 2.6 seconds left.
With five games to play in the Big Ten regular season, it's the Buckeyes - and not Purdue or Michigan State - that hold the No. 1 seed in the conference. MSU already has fallen at home once, getting beaten by MI, 82-72.
"Purdue vs Michigan State LIVE S-T-R-E-A-M and Basketball G a m e's".
The Boilermakers have ridden Haas before.
The Boilermakers coach on his team's second straight last-second loss.
Miles Bridges has to be the man. And Joshua Langford is a dynamic wing.
Any hangover for Ohio State coming off a win over No. 3 Purdue on Wednesday? MSU needs to dominate the glass, limiting second-chance points for Purdue while generating them for its offense.
However, Ohio State is stacked, with a conference title under its belt and an elite roster.
The Spartans also rank sixth nationally in offensive rebounding percentage. Did the worst version of this MSU defense stay behind in Iowa City? Another issue: Shooting. Purdue has an array of marksmen, but the Boilers haven't shot well from 3-point range of late. Izzo played Division-II college basketball for the Northern Michigan Wildcats from 1973-1977, a return a couple of years later to be an assistant coach. In fact, he's averaging 7.4 during the winning streak and can really knock down the three-pointer.
One of the most important stats from the first half was the zero for Purdue in the turnover column. But, this doesn't feel like a 23-3 team. Purdue has had three of their bench players appear in at least one contest this season. But the Spartans have been plagued with inconsistency. It looked respectable for most of the first half. Bridges said it was the kind of moment that brought him back to East Lansing for a second season when he could have waltzed off to the National Basketball Association following an impressive freshman showing. Purdue is a team that is peaking at the right time.
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