EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLFI) - The Purdue men's basketball team hung around as long as they could before freshman Gary Harris put Purdue away for good with a season high 22 points as No. 18 Michigan State used a 28-7 run in the second half to seal the 84-61 victory.
Trailing by six at halftime, Purdue used a 6-3 run to tie the game at 39-39 as Michigan State could not generate much on the offensive end. The Spartans would miss their first 10 shots from the field after halftime but the Boilermakers could not take advantage as they struggled all afternoon from the free throw line.
"A lot of things right in a row went against us and the thing you have to talk about as a coach are the things you can control. We fouled, we missed our free throws and then we missed a couple lay-ups and had a couple of breakdowns," said Purdue head coach Matt Painter.
The Boilermakers finished the game 9 of 20 from the charity strip which included hitting just 6 of 16 in the second half.
The turning point in the game came when the Boilermakers trailed 43-41 and Anthony Johnson and Michigan State's Travis Trice collided while Johnson drove to the basket. The play was ruled a foul on Trice, but the officials reviewed the play and ruled a dead ball technical foul on Johnson for throwing an elbow.
Trice would go to the free throw line and make both free throws, and the decisive run was under way.
"At times things get out of your control and you can't control that but we had some things happen in that stretch that we could control and we just didn't handle our business," said Painter.
The lone bright spot for the gold and black in the second half was freshman big man A.J. Hammons.
Hammons scored 20 points for Purdue on 8 of 12 shooting from the field. He also added 7 rebounds and 3 blocks to lead Purdue.
However, every time Hammons would try to bring Purdue back it was Garry Harris who answered for the Spartans.
The freshman was obviously excited to play the Boilermakers considering his college decision came down to Michigan State and Purdue.
Harris, whose mother Joy was a standout at Purdue, went 6 of 8 from 3-point range. His previous scoring high was 20 points against Loyola last month.
Purdue will return to West Lafayette (7-7, 1-1 Big Ten) and host Ohio State on Tuesday night with tip-off set for 9:00 pm.
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