Michigan State is now one full game in first place in the Big Ten. Wow!
The Spartans took care of Purdue on the road Sunday, thanks to likely Big Ten player of year Draymond Green.
Green was challenged by Tom Izzo on Sunday and responded with 20 points and 20 rebounds, leading the first-place Spartans (22-5 overall, 11-3 Big Ten) to a 76-62 win over the Boilermakers (17-10, 7-7).
“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.”
Austin Thronton also had a huge effort with 17 points and freshman Branden Dawson chipped in with 15.
With the win, the Spartans lead Ohio State and Michigan by one game in the standings. There are four games remaining on the slate for the Spartans — at Minnesota, home against Nebraska, at Indiana and home against Ohio State.
The chance at an out-right title is far from sealed with those games, particularly at Inidna and home versus Ohio State.
MSU was able to shoot nearly 51 percent from the floor on Sunday. Shooting like that in the NCAA Tournament will go a long way.
Robbie Hummel, the once great shooter for Purdue, was awful, making only one of nine 3-pointers. He did have 24 points on the game.
Next up for the first-place Spartans is a trip Wednesday night to Minnesota. The Gophers (17-10, 5-9) have lost three straight games.