2011 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament
2011 Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals Recap
(7) Michigan State 74, (2) Purdue 56
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In the first half, Michigan State came out firing. Purdue coach Matt Painter felt the need to call an early timeout to blunt the Spartans’ momentum, and while Michigan State experienced a few brief lulls, the number seven seed remained aggressive for the balance of the half. Coach Tom Izzo’s MSU squad repeatedly took the fight to the second-seeded Boilermakers, attacking the basket with more consistency and generating a greater number of open shots. The flow of MSU’s offense enabled point guard Kalin Lucas to score 18 first-half points on 7-of-10 shooting, including a 4-of-4 shooting performance from three-point range. When Lucas is playing at his best, the Spartans become a very formidable team, the kind of team that’s made the Final Four in each of the past two seasons. Lucas has struggled for most of 2011, but in the first half, he was certainly the best player on the floor.
Another sign of Michigan State’s supremacy in the opening half came on the boards. The Spartans didn’t allow a single offensive rebound to Purdue. Considering the fact that the Boilermakers made only 9 of their 26 shots before halftime, there were a lot of rebounds waiting to be grabbed, but Michigan State locked down on the defensive glass. Draymond Green – who rebounded better than anyone else in the first half of play – snapped down seven first-half rebounds for Michigan State. His teammate, Durrell Summers, contributed five boards.
In the second half, not that much changed. JaJuan Johnson, the star center for Purdue who scored 10 first-half points, lightly injured his hand and was never fully effective after halftime. Michigan State maintained its defensive intensity, and while Purdue joined the battle, it was a case of “too little, too late” for the second seed, which allowed MSU to hit too many shots in the game’s early stages.
The bottom line in this game is that Michigan State played with more effort than Purdue anticipated. The Boilermakers were caught off guard and clearly rattled by the Spartans, who took Purdue out of its rhythm. MSU destroyed whatever Purdue hoped to accomplish, and the Boilermakers never truly recovered.
Purdue made one final push around the 10-minute mark of regulation time, applying a lot of ball pressure and showing signs of climbing out of the hole it had occupied all game long. However, Michigan State outhustled Purdue on the offensive glass and prevented the Boilermakers from putting together an extended run. Purdue looked very worn out in the game’s final minutes, as MSU built its lead to 21 points before coasting home for the victory, a victory that will likely put the Spartans into this year’s NCAA Tournament.
Next Game: Big Ten Tournament Semifinal No. 2
(7) Michigan State vs. (6) Penn State/(3)Wisconsin
Saturday, 30 minutes after Michigan/Ohio State, CBS
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