Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Loss erases Michigan State's Big Ten lead

Michigan State guard Kalin Lucas shakes hands with fans after MSU's loss to Purdue.   (JULIAN H. GONZALEZ/Detroit Free Press)


EAST LANSING -- Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said Tuesday’s crowd at the Breslin Center was one of the best in years. Unfortunately the crowd of 14,759 battled the winter elements to get to the arena for a 9 p.m. start only to see the Spartans suffer one of their worst home losses in years.

The 10th-ranked Spartans lost, 76-64, to the No.6-ranked Boilermakers, their largest margin of defeat at home since an 81-68 setback against Illinois in February 2005. It was also MSU’s third straight loss, while Purdue won their sixth straight game.
“I want to start out by saying if I motivated my players as well as the crowd – I have to do a better job,” Izzo said after watching some of his players jog back defensively while Purdue was completing lay-ups and dunks off fast breaks. The Boilermakers shot 65.2% in the first half and had a 47-33 halftime lead.
“I can’t tell you how appreciative I was – it was the best crowd we’ve had in a couple years, on a snowy night and we just didn’t bring it,” Izzo said. 
“We didn’t check anybody the first half. Not anybody. We start the game, we miss lay-ups and just got us going in a bad direction. For some reason, we haven’t checked (defensively) in three games and I really don’t have an answer for it right now.”
The Spartans battled back in the second half, cutting Purdue’s lead to three, 65-62, with 4:34 on a three-pointer by Chris Allen, who finished with a team-high 21 points. 
The Spartans never got closer, though.

E’Twaun Moore answered Allen’s trey with a triple of his own on the next possession.
“I’d say it was a gallant effort in the second half, brought on 90% by the crowd and they almost willed us to a win,” Izzo said. “We got it down to three and E’Twaun Moore hit a tough shot behind that ball screen and that’s what they do and that’s the way he plays and he played well. I don’t have any excuses. I thought that they just made more shots and we didn’t.”
After Moore’s triple, Robbie Hummel made a lay-up, and after a missed lay-up by MSU’s Raymar Morgan, Moore made another basket to put Purdue back up by 10 with 2:43 left.


Post a Comment