FINAL: Eron Harris leaves game on stretcher as MSU falls to Purdue, 80-63
West Lafayette, Ind. — Caleb Swanigan earned his NCAA-best 23rd double-double of the season, as the Spartans fell to the Boilermakers Saturday afternoon, 80-63, in the final matchup between these two teams in the regular season.
With the win, Purdue (22-5, 11-3 Big Ten) takes sole possession of first place in the Big Ten standings, while MSU (16-11, 8-6 Big Ten) fall a half-game behind Northwestern as fifth in the conference.
Fifth-year senior guard Eron Harris left the game on a stretcher after hyperextending his right knee and did not return.
Praying for Eron Harris. This was not good. pic.twitter.com/pXySzitdmS— Barstool MSU (@BarstoolMSU) February 18, 2017
- Points: Bridges (14)
- Rebounds: Bridges (9)
- Assists: Nairn Jr. (5)
- Points: Swanigan (24)
- Rebounds: Swanigan (15)
- Assists: Swanigan (5)
The Spartans started the game shooting 4-for-4 from the field to take an early three-point lead on Purdue. Four straight misses, however, allowed the Boilermakers to tie the game at 9 apiece through the first five minutes of play.
With the game tied at 14, Purdue used three straight baskets to take a 22-16 lead. The Spartans cut the lead down, 22-20, with just over eight minutes to play in the first half, but a two-minute 9-0 run from the Boilermakers broke the game open with over five minutes remaining in the first half.
At the end of the first half, the Spartans were trailing the Boilermakers by 11 points, 37-26, in part by Swanigan's team-leading 11 points andsix6 rebounds for Purdue. Senior guard Alvin Ellis III scored six points and was the only Spartan scorer above five points.
In the first 20 minutes, MSU shot 40.7 percent from the field with four triples and Purdue shot 57.7 percent with five 3-pointers.
Starting freshman forward Nick Ward played only seven minutes because of two fouls in the half, leaving redshirt-sophomore forward Kenny Goins to play the remaining 13, scoring four in the first half. Ward would finish the game with six points through 12 minutes.
Despite a tip-in from Ward to start the second half, Purdue went on an 8-1 run over the first three minutes of the second half to take a 47-29 lead over MSU. In the first four minutes of the half, Goins and Ward had combined for seven of the team's 12 fouls.
Fouls would continue to be called on both sides as the teams would combine for 16-second half fouls through the first 10 minutes of the half.
Already trailing 55-39 with 11:47 to play, a pass from Swanigan found 7-foot-2 center Isaac Haas through traffic in the paint for a slam dunk, and a layup again on Purdue's next possession made it a 20-point game.
With 9:18 to play, Harris fell down and buckled his right knee upon landing while Ward fell down onto Harris. Play was suspended on the court as Harris, a native of Indianapolis, left the game. Harris finished with two points on 1-of-7 shooting from the field.
Ward fouled out with 8:19 to play. Two free throws from Haas extended Purdue's lead to 67-50. Goins fouled out with 5:42 to play, leaving fifth-year senior forward Matt Van Dyk as MSU's big.
MSU's final triple of the game came from sophomore guard Matt McQuaid, cutting Purdue's lead to 78-59 with 1:28 to play.
Haas finished with 18 points as Purdue's second-best scorer, helping the team to 50.9 percent for the game. MSU was led by Bridges and Ellis, who combined for 24 points. The Spartans finished the game shooting 42.4 percent, with a last-second layup from McQuaid.
MSU will return to the Breslin Center for its next game on Thursday against the Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-4, 5-8 Big Ten) for a 7 p.m. tipoff. The game will be televised on ESPNU.