INDIANAPOLIS – Kalin Lucas scored a career-high 30 points to help Michigan State beat No. 9 Purdue 74-56 on Friday in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.
Lucas tied a career high with four three-pointers for the Spartans (19-13), who greatly improved their chances of receiving an NCAA tournament bid. Michigan State had a 14-11 record on Feb. 15 and was in danger of being left out of the field after reaching the Final Four the past two years. But now the Spartans have won five of their past seven games.
Purdue (25-7) had defeated the Spartans twice this season, including a 67-47 win at Michigan State on Feb. 27. The Spartans said on Thursday that they wanted payback.
JaJuan Johnson, the Big Ten player of the year, had 21 points and nine rebounds for Purdue. E’Twaun Moore added 17 points for the Boilermakers, who have lost two straight and fallen from consideration for a No. 1 seed.
Michigan State outrebounded Purdue 41-28 and held the Boilermakers to 38-percent shooting.
The Spartans roared to a 12-4 lead in the opening minutes and kept the pressure on. Lucas’ fourth three of the first half gave Michigan State a 32-20 lead and slowed Purdue’s momentum. The Spartans made seven of 10 three-pointers in the first half to lead 37-23 at the break. Lucas had 18 points at halftime.
Purdue made just one of 10 three-pointers in the first half. Johnson was 5 of 8 from the field in the first half, but the rest of the team shot 4 for 18. Moore was 2 for 7 in the first 20 minutes.
Michigan State started the second half with a 6-0 run. Purdue coach Matt Painter was issued a technical foul for arguing with an official, and Lucas made both free throws to put the Spartans up 43-23 with 17:55 left.
Purdue went on an 11-4 run, and a basket by Terone Johnson cut Michigan State’s lead to 56-46 with 9 minutes to play. The Boilermakers cut their deficit to single digits twice, but a 6-0 run by the Spartans gave them a 66-51 lead and put the game out of reach for Purdue.
For more on this story see Saturday's Journal Gazette or go to www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m.