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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

MSU Drops Road Test to Purdue, Loses Harris

Michigan State traveled to West Lafayette, Ind. on Saturday afternoon in hopes of earning a much-needed signature win over the No. 16 team in the nation in the form of Purdue. They left with a loss in the box score, and another loss in the form of a senior guard.

The Spartans fell 80-63 in Mackey Arena in front of a raucous crowd that even chanted “We Love Dakich!” while Nick Ward shot, and subsequently missed, two free throws in the first half. Purdue chanting for an Indiana graduate. Oh, the irony.

Anyways, Michigan State’s size disadvantage proved dividends once again. The Boilermakers dynamic duo of Naismith candidate and probable Big Ten Player of the Year Caleb Swanigan coupled with the 7’2” Isaac Haas was simply too much for the Spartans to overcome. Swanigan recorded his NCAA-leading 23rd double-double (24 points and 15 rebounds), whereas Haas added 18 points in 19 minutes.

For MSU, Miles Bridges led the team with 14 points (after scoring 33 vs. Purdue last time they faced off) and Alvin Ellis III added 10 points coming off his best career game vs. Ohio State.

MSU shot 42 percent from the field, 40 percent from the free throw line, was outscored in the paint 42-24 and Nick Ward and Kenny Goins each fouled out with more than five minutes remaining in the game, forcing Matt Van Dyk and Kyle Ahrens to try and guard Purdue’s bigs.

But the box score was secondary for MSU. There was a bigger loss that occurred.

Fifth year senior guard Eron Harris drove down the baseline for a lay-up attempt with 9:20 remaining in the second half when he was met at the rim by two Purdue defenders. Harris fell to the floor trying as his lower leg buckled, and he crashed down onto the court.

 

He belted out two bone chilling screams that the ESPN broadcast caught, as his Spartan teammates rushed to his aid. A trainer was overheard as saying the word “cramp” at first. But as soon as Tum Tum Nairn Jr. and Ward held No. 14’s hand, everyone knew it was bad.

The medical staff soon thereafter brought out the stretcher. Harris was shifted onto it, and the sellout crowd in Mackey gave him a standing ovation. Several teammates, including Bridges and Ellis III, were seen crying as he was stretchered off the court.

Post-game, coach Tom Izzo announced that the injury is a “badly sprained knee” and that “[Harris will] be out for awhile.” He added that “it doesn’t look like anything great,” and that Harris will undergo a MRI when the Spartans arrive back in East Lansing.

Harris remained at the arena after the final buzzer sounded and was seen on crutches with his family. He is a native of Indianapolis, Ind., a short drive from Purdue’s campus.

Up next for Michigan State is Nebraska, who will travel to the Breslin Center for a showdown on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. On Feb. 26, MSU will host Wisconsin before traveling to Illinois on Mar. 1 and then Maryland to close out the regular season on Mar. 5.

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