2018 Big Ten Tournament: Michigan, Purdue Advance to Championship

Big Ten

No. 5 Michigan def. No. 1 Michigan State, 75-64

Michigan got off to a 13-4 start hitting their first three attempts from behind the arc. Michigan State responded with their own 10-1 run and evened the gamed up. Neither team caught much momentum in the first half. They both shot under 40 percent in the first half with no players in double-digit scoring. The Spartans held a 29-26 lead at the break.

The Wolverines hit 10 of their first 15 shots in the second half, including four out of their first six threes, and gained a seven-point lead with 7:10 remaining. By that time six different Michigan players had knocked down a three-pointer. Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman rattled in a three-pointer with 2:48 left to give Michigan an eight-point lead. After an offensive foul call on Miles Bridges and a free throw by Michigan, Matt McQuaid knocked down a three in transition that cut Michigan’s lead to six with 2:07 left.

Michigan responded by getting Mo Wagner to the free throw line where he made both shots. Miles Bridges fouled out of the game for Michigan State with 1:35 left, leaving the Spartans without their primary source of offense for the final stretch of the game. Bridges finished with a team-high 17 points and seven rebounds for Michigan State.

The Wolverines had five players score in double figures and shot 45 percent from the field, including 66 percent in the second half on 12-of-18 shooting including 5-for-7 from three. They finished +15 from the foul line and held Michigan State to under 40 percent shooting for the game.

No. 3 Purdue def. No. 7 Penn State, 78-70

Purdue hit their first five shots of the game to hold a 12-8 advantage in the first six minutes. Shep Garner paced Penn State in the first half with 15 points. He converted a four-point play to give the Nittany Lions a two-point lead with 5:53 left in the first half. Garner’s drive and score with 3:37 left in the first game gave Penn State a seven-point lead as Purdue went cold, missing 11 out of their previous 12 field goals.

The Boilermakers were still able to close the gap, with help from a technical foul call on Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers with 13 seconds left in the first half. Carsen Edwards followed up with a pull-up three-pointer that gave Purdue a 33-31 advantage at the break. Penn State shot 32 percent from the field in the first half, but 18 of their 31 points came from the three-point line, keeping them afloat.

Purdue gained a nine-point lead after a Carsen Edwards spinning drive and score with 11:19 left. It was their largest lead of the game at the time. Edwards would extend the lead to 15 with a three-pointer with 9:18 left. Penn State was unable to close the gap, as the Boilermakers continued to light up from behind the arc. They shot 7-for-10 from three in the second half and 11-of-21 for the game.

Purdue shot over 50 percent from the field and from three while Penn State shot under 40 percent from both.

First Team All-Big Ten guard Tony Carr struggled for Penn State, scoring 12 points on 4-of-18 shooting from the field and 1-for-6 from three. Shep Garner had a team-high and career-high 33 points for Penn State.

Purdue will meet Michigan in the Big Ten Championship on Sunday.


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