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Spartans dominate Purdue in Big Ten quarters

Mar 12, 2011 - 4:00 AM Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Kalin Lucas poured in 30 points to lead Michigan State to a 74-56 victory over No. 9 Purdue in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament.

Making a push to qualify for the NCAA Tournament at the end of a disappointing season, Michigan State advanced to face Penn State in the semifinals on Saturday after the Nittany Lions upset No. 13 Wisconsin.

Keith Appling added 10 points and was the only other scorer in double digits for the seventh-seeded Spartans (19-13).

JaJuan Johnson scored 21 points to lead Purdue (25-7) and E'Twaun Moore added 17.

The Boilermakers, after one of the best regular seasons in program history, were beginning their tournament Friday after earning a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed.

They will make the NCAAs anyway, despite being thoroughly outplayed by a Tom Izzo team that was probably playing for its season.

"We've got a lot of respect for Michigan State's program and what they've been able to accomplish through the years," said Purdue head coach Matt Painter.

"They're a program that prides themselves on playing hard, playing defense and rebounding, and tonight they dominated us in those three areas. There's no doubt about it. We're going to have to use this as a learning tool to hopefully improve and get better going into the NCAA Tournament."

The Spartans began the regular season ranked No. 2 in the country but couldn't even take care of business in their own conference, going 9-9 in Big Ten play.

They opened the tournament on Thursday with a win over Iowa (which beat Purdue last week) and are now just two wins away from an automatic berth in the NCAAs, where they have made the Final Four each of the last two years.

"These guys are battle-tested in tournament time and they're battle-tested with the schedule we play," said Izzo.

"I really made that part of my pre-game speech, that we played three No. 1 teams in Texas and Ohio State and Duke, and we've been through this before, let's just go play our tail off like we know we can -- and boy, we did."

Michigan State never let Purdue get a lead. Draymond Green opened the game with a three-pointer to spark a 10-2 Spartans run and the Boilermakers didn't get their 10th point until almost eight minutes were gone.

The Spartans went ahead by as many as 15 in the first half when Appling buried a three-pointer to make it 35-20. They carried a 37-23 lead into the break behind 48 percent shooting, holding Purdue to just 35 percent.

Izzo's team remained in control for the entire second half, fighting off an 8-0 Boilermakers run that got them within 56-47 with eight minutes left. The Spartans later used an 8-0 burst of their own to go ahead 68-51 inside four minutes and their lead reached as high as 21 points in the waning minutes.

Game Notes

Purdue was seeded No. 2 in the Big Ten Tournament for the second year in a row and is one of just five Division I schools to have won at least 25 games in each of the last four seasons...The Boilermakers still lead the all-time series 65-46.