Looking to win its third game in a row, Michigan State basketball was up big at the half but fell asleep in the final 20 minutes to lose.
In a game in which Michigan State looked like it was going to run away with, the Spartans and Boilermakers went down to the wire in a defensive battle in East Lansing on Friday night.
After taking a 15-point lead into the half and extending it to as much as 17 in the second half, the Boilermakers chipped away thanks to cold shooting from the Spartans and stingy defense. They tied things up with just over five minutes left and it felt like the momentum was just going to bury Michigan State.
Aaron Henry made some clutch plays down the stretch, but really poor coaching by Tom Izzo led to a squandered four-point lead with under 30 seconds left. Purdue ended up clutching the comeback win.
What did we learn from this ugly loss?
3. Post defense proved to be a major issue
Tom Izzo didn’t have his best coaching moment in the second half when he kept Joey Hauser matched up with Trevion Williams.
And guess what happened? Williams ate Hauser’s lunch. He did the same with Malik Hall in the second half as the Purdue big man was legitimately the only reason Purdue was even in the game and almost single-handedly led the Boilers to a comeback win.
If Izzo made the adjustments in the post with someone like Mady Sissoko or Marcus Bingham Jr. matching up with him in the second half, you see a different result.
Instead, Williams had 24 points in the second half after getting shut down in the first. This may be more on Izzo, but it shows the Spartans have issues with post defense.