WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue did all it could to grind out a win without star Robbie Hummel. For 30 minutes, the formula worked, but eventually a team needs to put the ball in the basket and the Boilers simply couldn't.
Michigan State dominated the area it needed to -- the backboards -- and capitalized on an obvious advantage down low to escape Mackey Arena with a 53-44 win. The Spartans outrebounded Purdue 46-20 and got production from multiple front line players, particularly Raymar Morgan and Draymond Green. They remain in the hunt for the Big Ten regular-season title after notching their first win against a ranked opponent since Jan. 6 against Wisconsin.
Morgan put together one of his best all-around efforts of the season, contributing 16 points and 11 rebounds. Green overcame early foul trouble to score 10 of his 12 points in the second half. He also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Purdue played stifling defense for much of the game, forcing 23 turnovers, eight from reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Kalin Lucas. Michigan State committed turnovers on five consecutive possessions at one point in the second half. But the Boilers' top offensive options never got going, as E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson combined to shoot 7-for-27 from the field. Purdue missed seven of its first eight shots after halftime and went just 6-for-32 from the floor in the second half.
The Boilers missed the versatile Hummel in so many areas, namely rebounding, field-goal shooting and even free-throw shooting (12-for-18). They'll face an uphill battle for seeding, as the NCAA tournament selection committee could see things have changed significantly without Hummel. Wins this week against Indiana (home) and Penn State (road) are critical before the Big Ten tournament.