West Lafayette, IN (Sports Network) - Tom Izzo and his No. 12 Michigan State
Spartans look to keep their hat in the race for first place as they visit
Mackey Arena for a Big Ten Conference brawl with the Purdue Boilermakers.
This will be the second clash between these Big Ten schools this season. MSU
collected an easy 84-61 triumph in East Lansing on Jan. 5 to tip-off the
2012-13 season series. Purdue leads the all-time series with Michigan State,
65-49, including a 40-16 advantage in games played in West Lafayette. MSU has
won 20 of the last 30 tilts in the series. Izzo is 20-13 in his career against
The Spartans avenged a late December loss to Minnesota on Wednesday as they
handled the Golden Gophers, 61-50, to improve to 19-4 overall and 8-2 in the
Big Ten standings. Michigan State is tied for first place in the conference
with Michigan and Indiana. The success has come this season behind strong
leadership from junior point guard Keith Appling, who is pacing the squad with
14.0 points and 4.2 assists per outing.
In the victory over Minnesota, Gary Harris tallied 15 points to lead the
Spartans, while Appling provided 14 points before leaving with a shoulder
injury. Appling's injury has him listed as doubtful for Saturday. Travis Trice
is also doubtful with a concussion, while Branden Dawson (10.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg)
is questionable due to a sprained ankle. The banged up Spartans still managed
to out-duel the Golden Gophers by connecting on 9-of-18 attempts from 3-point
range. Michigan State's not the type of team to find itself in shootouts, as
it produces 69.3 points per game while limiting opponents to just 59.0 per
Matt Painter's Boilermakers suffered two lopsided losses to Indiana (97-60)
and Northwestern (75-60) before breaking the trend with a 58-49 victory at
Penn State on Tuesday. The win bumped Purdue up to a 12-11 overall record and
an even 5-5 mark in Big Ten play. Since Robbie Hummel's graduation last
spring, Terone Johnson has emerged as the new top offensive weapon for Purdue
with averages of 12.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game.
Johnson netted a team-best 16 points in the victory over the Nittany Lions,
while freshmen A.J. Hammons and Donnie Hale each provided a double-double.
Hammons, who ranks third in the league in both total rebounds per game (8.2)
and offensive rebounds per game (3.1) in Big Ten action, produced 15 points
and 12 boards while Hale chipped in 10 points and the same number of rebounds.
The Boilermakers managed to escape with the win despite going 0-of-10 from 3-
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