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Michigan State fends off Purdue

Jan 9, 2008 - 6:09 AM EAST LANSING, Michigan (Ticker) -- Travis Walton's only offensive contribution saved Michigan State.

Walton hit a baseline jumper with 17 seconds to play and added a pair of free throws to lift the sixth-ranked Spartans to a 78-75 Big Ten Conference victory over Purdue on Tuesday night.

They were the only four points of the night for Walton, and they helped Michigan State (14-1, 2-0 Big Ten) extend its winning streak to 11 games.

"It feels good but I had to run back on defense and not celebrate because we had to get the stop," Walton said. "Raymar (Morgan) gave me a great pass and I didn't even think about it, I just shot it and it went in."

Morgan entered the contest averaging 3.8 points per game and had scored a total of 13 in his last five contests, making him an unlikely candidate to take such a crucial shot.

"You have to give Walton credit, not shooting the ball the whole game and then stepping up and taking a shot he can make," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "If you watch film, Walton doesn't shoot the ball very much, but he will step up and shoot that 15-17 foot jumper and he's pretty consistent with that. ... Guys like Travis Walton help you win games."

Freshmen Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers added 16 and 15 points, respectively, for the Spartans, who blew a 16-point, first-half lead but regrouped to hold the Boilermakers without a field goal for nearly 5 1/2 minutes down the stretch.

Chris Kramer tied a career high with 19 points for Purdue (10-5, 1-1), which had its three-game winning streak snapped.

"This is the first time in a lot of years that we just got flat out-physicaled, out-toughed, and out-manhandled," Michigan State Tom Izzo said. "The only good news was that we executed very well down the stretch in a couple of key plays."

Eight points by Kramer in a two-minute span gave the Boilermakers a 68-64 lead with 5:30 to play, but Purdue did not manage another field goal until a layup at the final buzzer.

Raymar Morgan had 14 points and Goran Suton 12 and 10 rebounds for Michigan State, which shot 61 percent (25-of-41) from the floor. Drew Naymick had three blocks for the Spartans, tying Matt Steigenga for No. 1 on the school's career list with 97.

"(Purdue) came out and they fought to the end and they played great," Morgan said. "We made mental mistakes that we shouldn't have made and we didn't play as well. I think we backed down a little bit. We were shocked that they came out as hard as they did and we backed down."

Trailing, 39-30, at halftime, Purdue stormed back behind Nemanja Calasan. He scored a career-high 18 points, including eight straight points to give his team a 47-45 lead - its first of the game - with 14:46 to play.

A 3-pointer by Keaton Grant capped a 20-6 spurt as Purdue took its biggest lead at 50-45 with just over 14 minutes remaining.

After Grant hit again from the arc for a 53-51 advantage, Michigan State reeled off an 11-3 spurt to go ahead, 62-56, on Marquise Gray's jumper from the lane with 9:10 to go.

Purdue stormed back again as Kramer scored eight points during a 12-2 run, including a 3-pointer for the 68-64 lead.

"They came out in the second half and took it to us," Izzo said. "We are going to have to play a lot better if we are going to win on the road.

Michigan State appeared on its way to a blowout as Lucas sparked a 13-2 burst, sandwiching a pair of baskets around a 3-pointer by Summers to make it 25-9 with 8:28 to play in the half. Lucas scored 10 of the first 25 points.

Marcus Green answered with a pair of 3-pointers and freshman E'Twaun Moore connected from the arc to draw Purdue within 32-26 with just under 3 1/2 minutes left in the half.

"We played like our hair was on fire the first five or six minutes of the game," Painter said. "Every shot we took was a bad shot but a lot of that has to do with adjusting to Michigan State's defense, which is one of the best in the country.

"Our guys gave a good effort but it was not good enough. You have to be able to make plays down the stretch, you have to be able to make shots and you can't break down defensively."