Disappointment is one word to describe the MSU mens basketball team play so far this Big Ten season.
Tuesday wasnt any different.
The Spartans (9-6, 1-2) couldnt overcome a 16-point deficit in the first half in the 72-60 loss to the Purdue Boilermakers at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind.
MSU cut the lead to 61-58 on a three-pointer by sophomore guard Chris Hill with 1:12 remaining, but again couldnt find anybody to take charge. The Boilermakers made 13-of-16 free throws down the stretch to cement the victory and extend their home record to 9-0. Purdue finished the game 31-of-35 from the line, 17 more than MSU made.
Purdue guard Willie Deane had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Boilermakers. He was also a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
Freshman guard Maurice Ager led the Spartans with 10 points. Hill, the Spartans leading scorer, had nine points, six coming from the free throw line.
MSU played a much tougher second half defensively and kept the game close, but as has been the case all season, they couldnt finish.
Purdue (10-3, 2-0) took it to the Spartans and gave them a taste of their own medicine. The Boilermakers used 11 players to wear down the Spartans and attacked them offensively.
The Spartans couldnt break out of their bad habits in the first half. MSU turned the ball over 10 times in the first half as Purdue took a 39-26 lead at the half.
The Spartans jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the first five minutes, but that was the last lead theyd see for the rest of the game. Following a timeout, the Boilermakers put together a 19-2 run to run away with the first half.
Purdue shot just 4-of-10 from the field to open the game, but ended the half absolutely scorching, knocking down 11 of their final 16 shots.
Forward Brett Buscher paced Purdue during the 19-2 run, scoring the first seven points. Guard Willie Deane had a strong first half, finishing with 12 points and 7 rebounds.
The Spartans were outhustled in almost every aspect of the game in the first half. Purdue found several open shots underneath the basket and got down the court quicker than the Spartans, netting 12 fast-break points.
Ager provided another spark off the bench, leading the Spartans in scoring in the first half with six points.
The 26 points were the fewest MSU has scored in the season all season long.
MSU will travel to Minneapolis for a Saturday showdown with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m.
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