Mar. 1, 1998
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Purdue coach Gene Keady held forward Mike
Robinson responsible for the basket that sent Sunday's game with Michigan State
into overtime. All was forgiven a few minutes later.
"He was in trouble when he didn't get that offensive board. But he redeemed
himself with those free throws. All is well again," Keady said after
Robinson's two free throws with 30 seconds left in overtime lifted the
11th-ranked Boilermakers to a 99-96 victory over No. 10 Michigan State.
The loss forces the Spartans to share the Big Ten regular-season title with
Illinois although they will be the top seed for the conference tournament.
Brad Miller also played a key role in the Purdue victory, scoring 18 of his
season-high 30 points in the second half.
"I had a good game (28 points) in my last game at home against Minnesota,"
Miller said. "I just wanted to finish strong."
Jason Klein hit a jumper from just beyond the free throw line with 45
seconds remaining in overtime to give Michigan State (20-6, 13-3) a 96-95 lead.
Robinson was fouled after grabbing an offensive rebound and made both free
throws to give the Boilermakers (24-6, 12-4) a 97-96 lead.
"I wasn't thinking about the free throws," Robinson said. "I planned to
make them. But if I missed, we'd get another chance."
Michigan State's Mateen Cleaves missed a driving layup with about four
seconds left and Purdue's Alan Eldridge was fouled with .8 seconds remaining.
He hit both free throws to give the Boilermakers the three-point lead.
Cleaves took a desperation shot from midcourt that hit the front of the rim
and bounced off as time expired.
The defeat put a damper on a trophy presentation the Spartans' had planned
after the game.
"We wanted to cut down the nets and get the trophy with smiles on our
faces," Cleaves said. "This was a reality check for us. It was a tough game.
Now we have to get back to the drawing board so we can make some noise in the
Big Ten tournament."
Purdue shot 52.2 percent for the game, while Michigan State connected on
51.9 percent of its shots. It was only the sixth time this season the Spartans
have allowed an opponent to shoot better than 50 percent.
"This was a good slap in the face for us," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo
said. "You can look pretty offensively, and we did today, but you win games
Miller had 12 rebounds to help Purdue to a 42-31 advantage on the boards.
Michigan State had outrebounded Purdue by 17 when the Spartans won the first
meeting of the two teams.
Brian Cardinal had 19 points for Purdue, while Robinson finished with 17 and
Eldridge had 15.
Klein topped Michigan State with 22 points and freshman Andre Hutson had a
season-high 21. Cleaves, who had 10 assists, and Morris Peterson added 16
points apiece for the Spartans.
Michigan State led 49-43 at halftime and stretched the lead to 12 over the
opening 2:06 of the second half. Purdue responded with an 18-5 run, featuring
three 3-pointers by Eldridge, to lead 63-62 with 11:30 left.
"I think the game was lost in that four-minute stretch when we forgot they
could shoot 3-point shots," Izzo said. "Nobody was near them in some of
those. It was miscommunication."
There were nine lead changes and seven ties the rest of the way in
regulation. Miller's layup with 18 seconds to go gave Purdue a 92-90 lead. But
on a miss by Cleaves, Hutson saved the ball from going out of bounds and batted
it to Peterson, who dunked it with 2.1 seconds left to tie the game at 92 and
force the overtime.
"I think everybody was going after the offensive rebound instead of going
for our man and when he (Hutson) saved it, Peterson was all alone," Robinson
Michigan State led for most of the first half, twice holding eight-point
leads. Purdue's biggest lead of the first half was 26-20 when Cardinal capped a
9-0 run with a 3-pointer.
The Spartans answered with a 16-4 spurt that gave them a 38-30 lead on
Cleaves' 3-pointer with just under five minutes left in the half.
The Boilermakers closed to 42-41 on consecutive 3-pointers by Chad Austin
and Cardinal, but Michigan State ended the half with a 7-2 surge to lead 49-43.