Green, Spartans roll
Draymond Green’s response exceeded even Izzo’s expectations.
Green scored 20 points, had 10 rebounds, seven assists and almost single-handedly shut down Purdue’s Robbie Hummel in the second half, leading No. 7 Michigan State to a
76-62 victory over the short-handed Boilermakers.
“I told him, ‘We’re going to put the team on your back,’ and boy did he answer the bell,” Izzo said. “We wanted the ball in his hands a lot, and we put it there. I just thought he made some big-time plays.”
Green’s spirited effort couldn’t have come at a better time for the Spartans, either.
Sunday’s victory gives Michigan State (22-5, 11-3) a one-game lead in the conference title race over No. 6 Ohio State and No. 17 Michigan with four games remaining—at Minnesota, home against Nebraska, at No. 18 Indiana and a season-ending rematch in East Lansing against the Buckeyes.
And the Spartans are in the driver’s seat thanks to Green.
The senior forward scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half, and more importantly figure out how to limit Hummel’s scoring chances without getting into foul trouble. It was something he heard about at halftime.
“He (Izzo) said, ‘I’m challenging you, you gave up 18 points and that’s not all you, but that is your man,’” Green said. “You know that’s inexcusable. You can’t give up 18 points to anyone in a half.”
When Green and the Spartans returned for the second half, they made the necessary changes and reverted to their more traditional form of tough, physical defense with a dominating performance on the glass.
Without two of their top scorers, the Boilermakers
(17-10, 7-7) had no chance to recover. Hummel finished with 24 points, only six in the second half, and Lewis Jackson had 15, but the Boilermakers were doomed after going 1 of 23 from the field to open the second half.
Purdue was missing starting guard Kelsey Barlow and key swingman D.J. Byrd. Barlow was booted off the team Friday and Byrd was suspended for this game following an incident outside a local bar.
-- Iowa 78, (18) Indiana 66—At Iowa City, Iowa, senior Matt Gaten scored a career-high 30 points and Iowa snapped the Hoosiers’ three-game winning streak.
Melsahn Basabe had 13 points for the Hawkeyes (14-13, 6-8 Big Ten), who beat the Hoosiers in Iowa City for the seventh time in eight tries.
Iowa jumped out to an 11-point halftime lead and pushed it to 52-33 midway through the second half.
Freshman Cody Zeller had 15 points and 13 rebounds and Victor Oladipo added 15 points for Indiana (20-7, 8-7), which is now just a game over .500 in the Big Ten.