Thursday, October 1, 2020

Final: No. 2 MSU holds on to beat Purdue to win Big Ten Tournament Championship

March 13, 2016

No.2 MSU beat No.13 Purdue 66-62 to win the Big Ten Tournament Championship for the second time in three years. MSU was led in the first half by senior guard Denzel Valentine with 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Purdue was led by sophomore forward Vince Edwards who had 19 points. 

 You could see the fatigue of both teams early as neither team came out shooting the ball well, with MSU shooting just 2-of-10 over the first five minutes with Purdue shooting only 3-of-9 during that stretch as Purdue led early 7-5. Five of MSU's first 10 shots were 3-pointers, with only Valentine making one. 

MSU struggled to get the ball inside early, as MSU scored just six of its first 16 points in the paint and missed several layups as the size and physicality of Purdue disrupted MSU's shots around the rim. 

Trailing 19-16, MSU went on a 20-7 run over the final 7:55 of the first half, sparked by a nice layup by senior forward Colby Wollenman, and a 3-pointer by Valentine off an offensive rebound as MSU went to halftime leading 36-26. 

With freshman forward Deyonta Davis limited to just four minutes in the first half and just 15 minutes total, Wollenman gave MSU key minutes off the bench scoring four points, grabbing five rebounds in his 11 minutes off the bench. Wollenman also playing solid defense on Purdue freshman forward Caleb Swanigan. 

MSU's defense held Purdue to just one field goal during the run as it suffocated Purdue's offense and did not allow second-chance opportunities. MSU held Purdue to just 33 percent shooting in the first half, including 0-of-7 from behind the 3-point line. 

Both teams came out in the second half shooting the ball well with Purdue making four of its first six shots, including making the team's first 3-pointer. MSU made four of its first seven. 

Purdue used an 8-0 run to cut MSU's lead down to just five-points as MSU led 46-41. The majority Purdue crowd erupted as MSU was marred by turnovers and missed shots during the run. 

Senior forward Matt Costello blocked one shot early in the second half to tie him for MSU's career block record of 142 with former MSU forward Branden Dawson. Just minutes later Costello blocked a second shot to pass Dawson and become MSU's all-time leading shot-blocker. Costello finished the game with four blocks, giving him 145 for his career. 

MSU would extend its lead back to eight and was threatening to go up by 10 on Purdue, but a 3-pointer followed by a Hammons block and Purdue transition layup cut the MSU lead down to 52-49 with eight minutes to play, forcing MSU coach Tom Izzo to use a timeout as the crowd rose to its feet. 

Purdue cut the lead to one-point out of the timeout on a Hammons dunk, but MSU answered back as Valentine got his own rebound and found senior guard Bryn Forbes for his first 3-pointer of the afternoon to give MSU a 55-51 lead. 

Sophomore forward Marvin Clark Jr. fouled out with six minutes to play as Purdue cut the MSU lead to just 57-55. MSU would then go on a 5-0 run of its own with a 3-pointer from junior guard Eron Harris and a put-back dunk by Wollenman to take a 62-55 lead and force a Purdue timeout. 

Following the timeout Purdue used another 5-0 run of its own to cut the lead down to two again after a dunk by Hammons who was fouled by Costello. Hammons made the free throw to make the score 62-60. 

Valentine gave MSU a three-point lead on a double-clutch jumper with just 1:40 to play. With MSU leading 64-61 Costello was called for a foul sending Purdue to the free throw line with 1:26 to play. 

Purdue sophomore forward Vince Edwards made one free throw to make it 64-62 MSU. Costello then missed the front-end of a one-and-one before blocking a layup attempt to tie the game with just over 10 seconds left. Forbes was then fouled and hit two free throws to give MSU a 66-62 lead with just 8.6 seconds to play. 

MSU out-rebounded Purdue 41-29 and outscored Purdue 30-26 in the paint. MSU held Purdue to just 38 percent shooting while MSU shot 42 percent, including making 8-of-9 from the free throw line. 

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