A single free throw with 4.6 seconds left in overtime by Rapheal Davis, along with a huge offensive rebound by A.J. Hammons, lifted No. 18 Purdue to an 82-81 overtime victory over No. 8 Michigan State on Tuesday night at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana.
After Michigan State's Denzel Valentine tied the game in overtime with 11 seconds to go, he fouled Davis on an inbounds pass more than 30 feet away from the basket to set up Purdue's winning free throw.
Davis sunk the first one but missed the second only to see his teammate Hammons bring down and wrestle away the rebound from the scrum as time expired.
CBS Sports' Seth Davis loved what he saw:
Purdue wins it by 1 in OT. That was a classic man. It is February fo sho.— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) February 10, 2016
Hammons was a force down low on Tuesday and was just two blocks away from a triple-double. He recorded 19 points, 13 rebounds—the last his most important—along with eight blocks.
Michigan State overcame an 18-point second-half deficit and was two minutes from winning the game in regulation after taking a four-point lead.
The Spartans were led by Valentine, who scored a game-high 27 points to go with 10 assists and eight rebounds as he came tantalizingly close to a triple-double as well.
However, he and Michigan State had such a large deficit because of the play of Davis, who put up a career-high 24 points on Tuesday.
Davis was the epitome of red-hot to start the game. He was 7-of-9 from the field and 5-of-5 from three-point range on his way to 19 of Purdue's first 30 points of the game.
Not even 15 minutes into the game, Davis had his new career high in points.
B/R Michigan State showed the replay of Davis' third three of the night:
Thirteen of them came consecutively in under five minutes, which was outstanding for a player entering Tuesday night averaging 9.1 points per game, per the Journal and Courier's Nathan Baird.
The Boilermakers controlled the pace thanks to Davis as Michigan State looked all out of sorts. Their high-intensity style looked unstoppable, and CBS Sports' Kent Sterling couldn't look away:
That was about as much fun as seven minutes of college hoops can be! Raphael Davis and the Boilers are rolling 17-10 with one whistle!— Kent Sterling (@KentSterling) February 10, 2016
Purdue's lead expanded to as many as 16 in the first half as its defense was just as effective as Davis was. It was especially solid in the low post thanks to the likes of Hammons, who made it difficult for Michigan State to score down low, per ESPN Stats & Info:
Purdue ahead 46-30 on Michigan State.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 10, 2016
Michigan State struggling in the paint, shooting 4-of-16. pic.twitter.com/WbZsTMcL4E
Purdue's lead grew to 18 at 48-30 in the early stages of the second half until Michigan State finally found its bearings. The Spartans went on a 14-4 run, including a six-point sequence in two seconds when Valentine drained a pair of three-pointers.
He was the main reason why the Spartans were still in the game at that point, per ESPN Stats & Info:
Denzel Valentine has scored or assisted on 33 of MSU's 50 points tonight, including 14 of their 20 in the second half so far.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 10, 2016
The run allowed Michigan State to chip away at much more manageable lead as it tied the game at 59 with 8:40 to go, and it took its first lead of the night one minute later.
SB Nation's Hammer and Rails wasn't too optimistic about Purdue's reversal of fortune:
Michigan State winning this half 29-13, and unless something major changes they will blow by Purdue to win by double digits.— Hammer & Rails (@HammerAndRails) February 10, 2016
But Michigan State only built a four-point lead with 1:59, and Purdue hung tough. Two straight layups from Caleb Swanigan tied the game at 72 with 1:05 to go to force overtime.
In overtime, Purdue managed to build multiple four-point leads, one with 1:12 to go, but Valentine hit a contested runner to tie the game before his foul on Davis.
For the Boilermakers, it is their first win in 19 games against an Associated Press Top 25 opponent as they improved to 19-5 on the season.
Initially, Purdue head coach Matt Painter didn't think that a foul should have been called on Valentine in the final seconds of Tuesday night's game, per Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press:
Matt Painter on final sequence: "What I first thought was I thought Hammons set an illegal screen." Said didn't after watching again.— Joe Rexrode (@joerexrode) February 10, 2016
He was still impressed with Valentine's performance, especially on his game-tying lay up per Rexrode:
Matt Painter on Valentine's tying drive: “An unbelievable shot. He’s just made himself into an NBA player.”— Joe Rexrode (@joerexrode) February 10, 2016
The admiration for the opposition continued from Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, per WLFI's Andrew Pogar:
He even conceded that his team was second-best on Tuesday, per MLive's Kyle Austin:
Tom Izzo: "Tonight, the better team won. I can accept that."— Kyle Austin (@kylebaustin) February 10, 2016
With five games left in the regular season, Purdue has just one remaining against a ranked team. It's a big one in No. 2 Maryland. It's imperative they pic up wins against the lower, unranked teams in the conference like Michigan, Northwestern and Nebraska.
If they can take four of five to end the season, they'll be in good shape for the Big 10 tournament.
Michigan State drops a game behind Purdue, who is in fourth-place in the Big 10. Like Purdue, the Spartans have a tough test remaining in second-place Indiana. They also have one more against Wisconsin and two against Ohio State who are near them in the Big 10 standings.
A strong finish to their season will certainly help their cause heading into March as it will separate them from the middle of the pack of the Big 10.
Stats courtesy of ESPN.com.