Found February 19, 2012 on isportsweb.com:
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East Lansing, Mich.–  With the Buckeyes loss to the rival Wolverines yesterday, the Spartans were in perfect position take sole lead of the Big Ten with a defeat over the Boilermakers.

Michigan State was able to head down to West Lafayette, and complete the season sweep on the Boilermakers by defeating Purdue 76-62 , and taking a one game lead in the Big Ten.

The Spartans were led to victory by seniors Draymond Green and Austin Thornton.

Draymond Green continues to make his case for Big Ten Player of the Year by posting 20 points, 7 assists, and 10 rebounds against Purdue.

Green struggled in the 1st-half going 2-for-6 from the field, with two fouls to go along with that. He looked frustrated in the first half, and was unable to get comfortable on the floor.

“Day-Day”, being the leader and great player that he is, was able to pick up his scoring in the 2nd-half going 5-for-9.

With 10:44 left in the 2nd-half Draymond was able to knock down a huge 3-point shot that gave the Spartans a 10-point lead, and from their the Spartans really went on  a run.

Senior guard Austin Thornton has been playing some of the best ball of his career in the past few games for the Spartans. Thornton has looked much more aggressive offensively, and is starting to look as if he has faith in his jump shot, something that seemed to be lacking for a long time.

Thornton posted a career high 17 points today against Purdue, and led the Spartans in scoring in the 1st-half with 9 points.

Purdue senior Robbie Hummel had a tremendous game for the Boilermakers shooting only 8-for-21 from the field, but he had 24 points and 15 rebounds.

With the suspension of D.J. Byrd and Kelsey Barlow being kicked-off the Boilermakers program, Purdue needed everything that seniors Hummel and Lewis Jackson could give them.

Both guys had a tremendous 1st-half, and because of them the Boilermakers took a 38-35 lead into halftime.

Both Hummel and Jackson played 39 minutes in the today’s game, and fatigue definitely showed in the 2nd-half, as the Boilermakers started the 2nd half going 1-for-23 from the field and allowed the Spartans to go on a 27-8 run.

From their, Michigan State had total control of the whole game, and with the fascinating play of freshman Branden Dawson the Spartans were able to maintain a comfortable lead for the rest of the game.

Dawson, who was heavily recruited by Purdue coach Matt Painter, was heckled all week by Purdue fans via Twitter.

Dawson and Painter exchanged words during the first match-up between the two teams in East Lansing, and Painter was not very happy with what the MSU freshman had to say.

Purdue fans are definitely eating their 160 words towards Dawson, as the freshman had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and delivered a devastating windmill slam in the open-court (see below).

Dawson has evolved tremendously since the beginning of the year, and aside from Draymond Green, I don’t think many would argue that the freshman is the Spartans most valuable player.

Derrick Nix has continued to play well for the Spartans, as he started off the game going 3-for-3, and finished with 12 points and 4 rebounds.

Adreian Payne has continued struggling for the Spartans only going 1-for-4 from the field with 1 block and 4 rebounds.

It is unknown whether or not Izzo can find a way to get consistency out of his sophomore center, and I believe his play is what puts the Spartans in that top tier of teams.

If Payne can somehow find a way to get into a rhythm and be somewhat of a factor night in and night out, I think it is safe to say that the Spartans will be one of the four teams with a number 1 seed come March.

Michigan State (22-5, 11-3) will travel to Minnesota on Wednesday to take on the Golden Gophers who have lost 4 of their last 5.

Purdue (17-10, 7-7) will head to Nebraska on Wednesday as well.

 

Dawson Dunk:

 

 

 

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