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Lucas leads Michigan State past Purdue

Mar 8, 2009 - 9:43 PM EAST LANSING, Michigan (Ticker) -- Kalin Lucas and Michigan State will enter the Big Ten Conference Tournament on a high note after getting some revenge against Purdue.

Lucas scored 21 points Sunday afternoon, leading the eighth-ranked Spartans to a 62-51 victory over No. 20 Purdue in a slugfest between the Big Ten's top two teams.

Goran Suton finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Michigan State (25-5, 15-3 Big Ten), which ended the regular season with five consecutive wins.

That winning streak was sparked by Michigan State's 72-54 loss at Purdue, which erupted in the second half on February 17 to crush the Spartans in West Lafayette.

"Once this week is over, you're playing one-and-done from here on out," Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said. "We need to get a lot of work done. I got some questions answered, but it seems like we get one guy playing well and then one guy doesn't play as well."

Despite facing a 31-29 halftime deficit in this contest, the Spartans limited the Boilermakers (22-9, 11-7) to just four points over the first 15 minutes of the second half to take a 47-35 lead with 4:54 remaining.

"We really stressed that we had to put pressure on the ball and get more help off the ball," Izzo said. "Our defense the last six or seven games, we've been really good."

JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore scored 12 points each to pace Purdue, which shot just 28 percent (17-of-60) from the floor.

"I'm real concerned about the offense," Purdue head coach Matt Painter said. "Any time you struggle to score the basketball, you need to re-evaluate. I just think we need to continue to do the same things, we just need to do them better, be more efficient."