Five launch: Bridges' 3 sinks Purdue in MSU wi

Michigan State’s Nick Ward ranks among the top ten in the Big Ten in rebounding. Mandatory Credit Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

This is the Big Ten regular-season game of the year, as the Boilermakers have had a sensational year and are looking to make a statement against the Spartans.

Ohio State loomed large in Purdue's offensive struggles - 63 points was a season-low - as its length, interchangable nature across its lineup and its aggressiveness were a handful for the Boilermakers.

Mikal Bridges is averaging 16.6 points per night, while unsung Donte DiVincenzo is scoring 13.7 points per game and connecting on 48.5 percent of his shots.

The Buckeyes are now ranked 22nd nationally with a 3-1 record to open the 2018 season, but they are coming off their best season in program history previous year. It would be the 11th seed if the tournament started today.

Freshman forward Jack Nunge turned out to be a bright spot for the Hawkeyes. Bad news: MSU is No. 1 in the Big Ten in rebounding margin (+10.4). BTN televises the game. He was the focal point of Purdue's offense - in some ways to a fault - as contested hook shots replace three-point shooting opportunities.

For Ohio State, this sound was supposed to be years away. The Buckeyes built a 56-36 advantage less than four minutes later. Bohannon toughed it out and had 17 points and six assists. Iowa forward Tyler Cook is out with two fouls.

The Buckeyes claimed their 30th national championship last spring, making it the most successful sport at Ohio State in that measure. However, opponents are starting to figure out Oklahoma, and head coach Lon Kruger is going to have to figure out a few alterations to his game plan very quickly. Brandon Gaudin calls the action and Stephen Bardo provides analysis. He thinks his Michigan State team has yet to really hit its ceiling. In Iowa, 600 AM (WMT-Cedar Rapids), 1040 AM (WHO-Des Moines) and 800 AM (KXIC-Iowa City) are the Hawkeyes' flagship radio stations. When the teams played in Iowa City on January 4, the game feature more than 120 combined field goal attempts, and a lot of offense.

The Buckeyes emptied their bench early.

The 14th-ranked Buckeyes (21-5, 12-1 Big Ten) are tied with Purdue atop the league standings, and they own tiebreakers with both the Boilermakers and Spartans because of head-to-head victories.

Despite giving Michigan State a scare in their last time out, Iowa is a team that has not performed as well as they would've liked this season.

Chris Holtmann has totally rejuvenated the Buckeyes after coming over from Butler. If Purdue topples the Spartans and wins out-and OSU loses down the stretch-the Boilers would be sole Big Ten champs. The 43 points IN allowed against Rutgers were a season low for the Hoosiers and the fewest theyve given up IN a Big Ten game since 1996-97. Vincent Edwards is second on the team, while Isaac Haas and Dakota Mathias are part of the four players for Purdue scoring double digits per game.

Ohio State got a strong performance out of Keita Bates-Diop, who scored the game winning tip-in.

"We needed the door open", Izzo said. You want to try and limit his touches as best you can. But he's such a good ball handler, it doesn't really matter where he catches it. He's eventually going to get where he wants to get. "He can shoots 3s, he's got an in-between game, he can shoot floaters".

"Just pray", Izzo said, after Swanigan (25 points and 15 rebounds), Haas (18 points, five rebounds) and Edwards (12 points) picked apart the Spartans, like a vulture devouring the last remains of a carcass.

"I have tremendous respect for him, " McCaffery said.

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