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No. 3 Purdue hangs on to beat Michigan State 67-62 in Big Ten quarterfinals

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Zach Edey had 29 points and 12 rebounds for third-ranked Purdue, and the Boilermakers recovered from a blown 12-point lead to beat Michigan State 67-62 in a hard-nosed quarterfinal game in the Big Ten Tournament on Friday.

Lance Jones had 10 points and three steals with just one turnover for the Boilermakers (29-3), who advanced to play Wisconsin in the semifinals on Saturday despite matching their season-low score and being outrebounded (37-36) for only the second time all season.

“As long as we keep guarding and taking care of the basketball, we’re going to give ourselves a chance,” head coach Matt Painter said.

Tyson Walker had 15 points, Malik Hall pitched in 12 points and Tre Holloman scored 10 points for the Spartans (19-14), who had an 18-0 edge in fast-break points and tied the game late before falling short in head coach Tom Izzo's 1,000th game on the bench.

“Guarding Edey is a load. We tried it a number of different ways. We tried doubling. We tried digging. We tried regular head up,” Izzo said. “Matt does such a great job of getting them the ball in different spots.”

Walker, the fifth-year guard, stepped up down the stretch to lead the surge. He knocked down a mid-range jumper for the tie with 1:41 left, the closest the Spartans came since a 3-2 lead, but Fletcher Loyer answered with a 3-pointer on the other end for Purdue.

Xavier Booker had a clear look at the top of the key from 3 with 1:05 remaining to tie it back up, but the ball rolled around the inside of the rim and bounced out.

The Boilermakers had a scare midway through the second half when first team All-Big Ten point guard Braden Smith hobbled off the court with an injury to his right calf muscle. But Smith was able to re-enter about four minutes later with Purdue leading by five, and Jones deftly handled the ball in his absence.

The Boilermakers are two wins away from matching Michigan State (1999, 2000) as the only Big Ten program to win both the outright regular season title and the conference tournament in consecutive years. The Spartans used that feat 24 years ago as a launching pad for the national championship, which still stands as the last time a Big Ten team won it all.

One step at a time for Purdue, of course, with that crushing loss to 16th-seeded Farleigh Dickinson in the first round of the NCAA Tournament still unanswered until the Big Dance begins anew. The Spartans, despite five losses in their last seven games, should be on the safe side of the bubble.

This matchup of the Big Ten's two most successful programs over the last three decades predictably resembled a football game at times, with the Spartans sending Carson Cooper, Jaxon Kohler and Mady Sissoko into the post to try to somehow disrupt the rhythm of the reigning AP Player of the Year, and though they were successful at times the 7-foot-4 Edey got plenty of soft hooks to fall.

He stared down and pressed his forearm on Holloman at one point, after the Minneapolis native fouled Loyer and was too close to Edey's liking. Both players picked up a technical foul for that exchange.

Cooper got whacked in the nose by the downswing of Cam Heide's arm on his drive to the hoop late in the first half, forcing the 6-foot-11 Cooper to play with gauze in his nose.

“Every game we’ve ever played Michigan State, it’s been a physical, tough game,” sixth man Mason Gillis said. “You’ve got to just be there for it.”

There were 46 fouls called in the game — 29 on the Spartans. Sissoko fouled out in 10 minutes, with seven rebounds.

“The bigs played as well as they could play, battled down there,” Walker said.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball