Men's basketball beats No. 3 Purdue thanks to Bridges' game-winning shot

Lynette Rowe
February 11, 2018

The difference though is that the Boilermakers game against the Buckeyes was an instant classic.

Prior to this season, the expectations for the Ohio State basketball program probably were lower than they had been in decades. After an errant inbounds pass led to a Miles Bridges steal, Bridges missed both free throws to keep it a three-point game, but the Hawkeyes heave at the buzzer was no good.

Miles Bridges finally has his signature moment. He's a virtual lock to be the Big Ten player of the year.

Bridges finished with a team-high 20 points. Purdue answered with a layup from Carsen Edwards, but a 6-0 run from MSU, led with two scores from Bridges gave MSU a 57-55 lead, its first lead of the game with 8:58 to play. Nick Ward has to step up for the Spartans to win. The top-five finish marked the 11th time in 18 trips to the NCAA regatta that the Buckeyes have earned a fifth-place showing or better. Purdue's bigs are matchup nightmares. Matt McQuaid added nine points to the winning cause.

Purdue: A win would allow the Boilers to stay even in the loss column with Ohio State in their pursuit of a second consecutive Big Ten crown. But it is not one of those years, like last year, where we were 14-4 and you win the league. He plays bigger as he averages 7.8 boards per game and has 16 blocks for the season.

What's been the difference for Sparty this year has been the addition to Jaren Jackson, and the emergence of point guard Cassius Winston.

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Four players are averaging at least 10.9 points per game for Iowa, they are Cook (15.7), Jordan Bohannon (13.7), Luka Garza (11.0) and Isaiah Moss (10.9). The basket cut what had recently been a 10-point Purdue lead to only five. The 6-foot-7 sophomore entered this season with massive expectations because of the simple fact that he is a sophomore, and fair or not, when a player enters the season as the overwhelming favorite to win National Player of the Year and ends up an afterthought in the race for Big Ten Player of the Year, there are going to be questions asked. If those guys are attacking and the rest are getting offensive boards, that's how you beat Purdue. He had 25 points on 22 shots, drawing just a single foul, against Michigan State.

As for my prediction, I have to side with Michigan State. That was an unexpected boost for a team that had to find new options on offense without suspended senior guard. As both forwards play similar games, Jackson has four inches and 20 more pounds on Vincent. The Spartans bench is just as deep as any in the country. Nearly no one had them higher than 10th.

On the other hand, while JT Barrett was a college football star, he wasn't the dominant force that Keita Bates-Diop continues to be this season for the basketball team.

Michigan State is now the fourth best team in the country according to the AP poll. Before the season began, many hailed this to be Tom Izzo's "most gifted team ever". Purdue basketball plays. What TV channel is Michigan State-Purdue on? This afternoon should be very telling of how well Purdue can play when under a vast amount of pressure while being on the road against one of the nation's most talented teams.

I can't say this enough, but if Purdue wants to claw out of the Breslin Center with a win, the team has to rebound the ball better.

The Spartans have had two major issues this season: turnovers and defensive rebounding.

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