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(13) Michigan State (21-5) at Purdue (15-10)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 20, 7 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Mackey Arena (14,240) -- West Lafayette, Indiana. Television: ESPN. Home Record: MSU 11-3, PU 12-2. Away Record: MSU 6-1, PU 2-5. Neutral Record: MSU 4-1, PU 1-3. Conference Record: MSU 10-3, PU 5-7. Series Record: Purdue leads, 65-50.

GAME NOTES: Big Ten Conference rivals collide at Mackey Arena on Thursday night, as the 13th-ranked Michigan State Spartans come calling on the Purdue Boilermakers.

While still considered one of the favorites to win the conference crown, Michigan State has shown itself to be mortal in recent weeks as it has lost four of its last seven games, the most recent being a shocking 60-51 home defeat to Nebraska. As a result, the Spartans enter tonight's fray at 21-5 overall and 10-3 in conference, which is good for a first-place tie with Michigan. The Wolverine State rivals will meet in Ann Arbor this Sunday.

As for Purdue, it has won two of its last three games to improve to 15-10 on the season, although it still sits two games below .500 in conference play (5-7). The Boilermakers, who notched an 82-64 win over in-state rival Indiana the last time out, should play with confidence tonight as they are 12-2 at home this season.

This is the only scheduled meeting between these two teams this season, and Purdue holds a 65-50 lead in the all-time series. The Spartans, however, have won the last five meetings. The Boilermakers are 28-13 in the series at Mackey Arena, but haven't won there since Jan. 22, 2011 (88-76).

Poor shooting did the Spartans in this past Sunday against visiting Nebraska, as they connected on only 34 percent of their field goal attempts, which included a horrid 5-of-24 showing from 3-point range. Gary Harris did his best to get his team over the hump, tallying 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while Adreian Payne was the only other player to reach double figures for MSU, as he nearly logged a double-double with his 11 points and nine boards. The team's defensive effort was on point, as the Cornhuskers made good on only 35.8 percent of their total shots, although they did nail nine treys, albeit on 30 attempts.

Harris continues to pace the team in scoring with his 17.4 ppg, although Payne (16.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and Keith Appling (14.4 ppg, 4.7 apg) are hot on his heels. The team as a whole is generating 76.9 ppg in hitting 46.7 percent of its field goal attempts, which encompasses its 37.9 percent effort from beyond the arc, while on defense limiting the opposition to 64.8 ppg and typical shooting performances of only .388 overall and .319 from beyond the arc. Factor in favorable margins in both rebounds (+4.8) and turnovers (+1.9), and it's not hard to see why the team has enjoyed as much as success as it has.

In Purdue's recent win over Indiana, Sterling Carter drained five treys en route to a team-high 19 points, and he was joined in double figures by Ronnie Johnson and Terone Johnson, with 16 and 14 points, respectively. The Boilermakers found the bottom of the net on 48.1 percent of their field goal attempts, which included a stellar 10-of-18 showing from long distance. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers made good on only 32.2 percent of their total shots, while being outscored both in the paint (24-16) and in bench points (24-11).

Terone (12.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and Ronnie Johnson (10.7 ppg, 3.6 apg) rank one-two on PU's season scoring chart, while A.J. Hammons tacks on 10.6 ppg and serves as the team's leading rebounder (7.4 rpg) as well as one of the top shot blockers in the country (74 swats). Collectively, the Boilermakers are putting up 73.1 ppg while permitting 70.0 ppg, and they too are in the black with regard to rebound (+3.8) and turnover (+0.4) differential.

While Purdue is sure to put forth maximum effort in an attempt to defend its home floor once again, the Spartans need to build up some momentum as they try to maintain their place atop the Big Ten standings.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Michigan State 72, Purdue 67

02/20 10:19:30 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 104
LAL 103
Final
GT 49
UNC 81
Final
CLEM 61
NCSU 66
 
Final
DET 15
BAL 2
 
Final
MIA 7
MIAFLA 1
 
Final
PHI 5
NYY 5
 
Final
BOS 2
NEASTERN 1
 
Final
TOR 7
PIT 8
 
Final
CIN 10
CLE 0
 
Final
OAK 9
SFG 4
 
Final
BOS 1
BOSTONCOLL 0
 
Final
ARI 4
ASU 0
 
Final
CLE 110
BOS 79
Final
CHA 104
LAL 103
Final
NYK 86
SAC 124
Final
ATL 104
HOU 96
Final
MEM 82
UTA 93
Final
CHI 97
WAS 92
4th
DEN 103
MIL 93
 
Final
UMO 70
AKR 63
 
Final
NAVY 56
ARMY 52
 
Final
BST 60
EMICH 67
 
Final
BUT 54
GEOR 60
Final
IND 63
IOWA 77
Final
FLGC 81
JVU 63
 
Final
USCU 90
KNST 54
 
Final
BGU 80
KSU 81
 
Final
NKENTUCKY 73
LIP 76
 
Final
HC 62
GHND 45
 
Final
RUTG 50
MD 60
Final
GT 49
UNC 81
Final
BUF 93
OHIO 66
 
Final
ALA 74
MISS 82
Final
DAY 75
RIU 59
Final
CMICH 85
TOL 77
 
Final
DET 77
YOUNG 67
Final
UNF 81
STET 67
 
Final
ABCHRIST 83
HOUB 71
 
Final
NDAK 78
NEOM 80
 
Final
NILL 65
WMICH 63
 
Final
ILLCH 60
WRST 57
Final
MIZZ 63
AUB 61
 
2nd
UGA 64
KENT 70
 
2nd OT
NW 74
MICH 71
 
Final
CLEM 61
NCSU 66
 
2nd
UF 66
TEXAM 62
 
2nd
KU 55
WVU 58
 
2nd
CREI 62
VILL 65
 
Final
PHI 2
CAL 3
Final
NJD 3
NAS 1
Final
CLB 3
WAS 5
Final
TAM 3
BUF 0
Final
FLA 2
TOR 3
Final
MIN 3
OTT 2
Final
DAL 3
NYI 2
 
3rd
ARI 1
ANA 3
 
2nd
VAN 1
SJS 3