Purdue could not score for the first six minutes of the second half and shot 1-for-23 to open the second half. The Boilermakers lost to 7th ranked Michigan State, 76-62, Sunday afternoon at Mackey Arena.
"We just couldn't handle that kind of a drought shooting the basketball against a quality team like Michigan State," said Purdue coach Matt Painter.
Purdue played its first game since junior Kelsey Barlow, from Indianapolis, was kicked off the team and junior DJ Byrd, from Crawfordsville, was suspended for one game following an early Friday morning incident at a bar. Barlow had scored in double figures in three of the last four games. Byrd had made 16 of his last 30 three-pointers. Byrd watched Sunday's game on the bench in street clothes.
"We're gonna come together as a team better," said Purdue senior Ryne Smith, who scored 10 points. "Honestly, I think it's addition by subtraction. DJ's gonna come back in full force.He's a great player for us."
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo kicked two players off his team last season. He spoke from experience when admiring the game plan Painter put together on short notice for his shorthanded team.
"Distractions kill you," said Izzo. "The job (Painter) and his staff did to get this team ready to play under the circumstances they were given is incredible."
Senior Robbie Hummel carried the load as much as he could for Purdue with 24 points and 15 rebounds. But even Hummel shot just 1-for-9 from 3 point range. Purdue (17-10, 7-7 Big Ten) led 38-35 at halftime behind 18 points from Hummel. Michigan State (22-5, 11-3 Big Ten) thrived inside with 36 points in the paint compared to 12 for Purdue. Draymond Green led the Spartans with 20 points. Green scored eight consecutive points to give the Spartans a 10 point lead midway through the second half. Purdue never got closer than 8 the rest of the way.
Purdue hosts Nebraska Wednesday at 6:30 pm in the first Big Ten game between the Boilermakers and Cornhuskers.
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