Monday, January 18, 2021

'One of the more disappointing losses that we've had': Izzo, players dumbfounded after loss to Purdue

January 9, 2021
<p>Junior forward Trevion Williams points to the stands in celebration after scoring on the Boilermakers&#x27; last possession to help secure a comeback victory against the Spartans on Jan. 8, 2021.</p>

Junior forward Trevion Williams points to the stands in celebration after scoring on the Boilermakers' last possession to help secure a comeback victory against the Spartans on Jan. 8, 2021.

Photo by Devin Anderson-Torrez | The State News

In just six seconds, the whole narrative of the game changed.

MSU men's basketball coach Tom Izzo called it a football game on the hardwood.

Combined, Purdue and MSU shot 44 free throws in the game, with 43 personal foul calls in the game.

"One of the more disappointing losses that we've had," Izzo said. "I give Purdue credit. They did the things they needed to do in the second half. ... They deserved to win. We're playing harder, and I'm going to find something positive in it. Not a lot though."

The No. 23 Spartans led the Boilermakers by as much as 17 points in the second half, only to crumble at Trevion Williams' fingertips as the junior curled for a midrange jump shot — one that would win the game — with 4.5 seconds left.

With the clock stopped and 4.5 seconds left in the game, MSU inbounded quickly to a sprinting Aaron Henry who raced down the length of the floor, with one timeout left in the Spartans' pocket.

Henry raced down the court, only for his layup attempt at the buzzer to fall short off the rim. Fans watched from home, the MSU basketball program watched from the sideline.

Both watched in astonishment as Purdue (8-5) rose to the top, 55-54.

"It's winning time, and we've got to grow from it, watch the film and understand what happened," Henry said. "Nothing will change about us. Tomorrow we'll come back to work and prepare for the next team. Tough loss, but it is what it is, you've got to face the facts."

Henry said he's played in these types of low scoring, heavily defensive games before and that's just the way the dice fell. He said it felt almost like a high school game with no shot clock.

Joshua Langford said the Spartans gave it their all, but Purdue fought until the very end and for that, he gave them credit.

"It's challenging (to bounce back), but we have to learn ... get the insight and wisdom we can get from it and just keep moving forward," Langford said. "There's no need to hang our heads. It's still early in the season, and I believe we have a great basketball team and we can do a lot of high level things."

All three men noted that they truly don't know what happened due to the nature and pace of the night.

Michigan State, now 2-4 in Big Ten play, will look to regroup against No. 5 Iowa on Jan. 14.

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