The No. 22 Spartans defeated the Boilermakers, 74-66, during the Pink-Out Cancer game.
“It means a lot. A few of us did not know about our head lady in the office, (secretary) Megs, she has breast cancer and has battling breast cancer. Coach told us about it before the game and it really touched us,” Shay Colley said about the impact of this year’s Cancer game has had on the team. “We kinda went out there and did this for her.”
Michigan State started off hot capitalizing on Purdue’s mistakes in the first quarter. The Boilermakers showed that they came to play, challenging senior Jenna Allen and sophomore Sidney Cooks down in the post with Junior Ae’Rianna Harris and sophomore Tamara Farquhar.
“I’ve been actually playing against her for quite some time and I always know that she’s been such a good rebounder and shot blocker,” Cooks said. “It wasn’t personal to her but I just feel like it’s Purdue. We only play them once, I had a chip on my shoulder this game. I hadn’t played good our last game. I just really wanted to go out, no matter if it was Purdue or the next team and you know leave it all on the floor.”
The Spartans ended with 16 in the paint points in the first half offsetting Purdue’s 14.
“I thought our kids did a really good job on making her sure she got outside the paint. I thought Sid and Jenna took up that challenge.” MSU coach Suzy Merchant said about the physicality of Ae’Rianna Harris in the post.
Michigan State had the 13 point lead at the half, 39-26.
The Spartans shot 53.6 percent from the field, 41.7 percent from the three point range and were 4-4 behind the line. Allen had a triple early in the first quarter and Shay Colley and Taryn McCutcheon both had two to end the first half. Colley led with 14 points and two assists, followed by Cooks had 10 points and three rebounds.
The Boilermakers shot 36.7 percent from the field, scoreless behind the arch and 4-4 behind the line. Harris led with ten points and seven rebounds, followed by Dominique Oden’s eight points and two rebounds.
The third quarter was tough for the Spartans as the Boilermakers were hot from the start. Purdue out scored and out rebounded the Spartans, having 11 second chance points as well as Karissa McLaughlin having two three pointers in the quarter.
“We as coaches have to do a better job of catering kids to be better offensive rebounders.” Merchant said. “That was a big part of the game plan was to keep those two kids (Harris and Farquhar) off their fours and fives and then number 11, Oden, is a really good rebounder.”
The Spartans prevailed over the Boilermakers after a very physical second half.
Michigan State had five players in double figures with Cooks and Colley posting 20, McCutcheon with 12 and Allen and Clouden with 10.
The Spartans shot 46.2 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from behind the arch. McCutcheon had four threes for the game and four assists.
Purdue was led by a Harris double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds. McLaughlin had 16 points and Oden had 14. The Boilermakers shot 36.5 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from three point range.
The Spartans will travel to Iowa to face the Hawkeyes on Feb.7 at 9 p.m. BTN will be broadcasting this game.