INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Nina Clouden scored 23 points, including the clinching free throws with 2.5 seconds left, and Michigan State edged Purdue 73-69 in the second round of the Big Ten Conference tournament on Thursday.
Clouden, the leading free-throw shooter in the league, was 10 of 11 from the line but the miss was one of four the eighth-seeded Spartans missed in the last 31 seconds, keeping the ninth-seeded Boilermakers in the game.
Michigan State plays top-seeded Ohio State in the quarterfinals on Friday. The Spartans lost to the Buckeyes twice, including 61-55 in the regular-season finale.
Tamara Farquhar scored five points before Clouden made a pair of free throws to cap a 7-0 surge that put the Spartans up 73-69 with 1:39 to play. A Jeanae Terry 3-pointer and Abbey Ellis’ layup with five seconds to go put the pressure on Clouden, an 88% free throw shooter.
Alisia Smith scored 15 points, Taiyier Parks 12 and Matilda Ekh 10 for the Spartans (15-14), who were 9 of 13 from the foul line in the fourth quarter. Farquhar had nine points and nine rebounds.
Ellis and Madison Layden scored 17 points each for the Boilermakers (16-14), who won the regular-season meeting 69-59. Terry had 14 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
The biggest lead of the game was 36-29 for MSU in the second quarter.
Purdue shot 10 of 27 behind the arc (37%) but 13 of 36 inside (36%) and went 13 of 15 from the foul line. Michigan State was 4 of 18 on 3s but shot 41% overall and made 19 of 26 from the line.