Long streak over, Purdue looks to rebound against Spartans

Michigan State guard Miles Bridges (22) drives to the basket past Iowa forward Nicholas Baer, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, in Iowa City, Iowa.(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

A look at the upcoming week around the Big Ten Conference:

GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 3 Purdue at No. 4 Michigan State, Saturday. The Boilermakers (23-3, 12-1) had their 19-game win streak end with a 64-63 loss to No. 14 Ohio State on Wednesday night, and now they finish their toughest week of the season with a trip to East Lansing. The Spartans (23-3, 11-2) have won seven in a row and are coming off a three-point win at Iowa.

LOOKING AHEAD: Penn State beat Maryland 74-70 on Wednesday night for its fourth win in five games. Given the way the Nittany Lions have played of late and the opportunity for quality wins coming, a run at an NCAA Tournament berth is possible. After a game Sunday at 13th-place Illinois, they close with No. 14 Ohio State (home), No. 3 Purdue (away), No. 20 Michigan (home) and surprising Nebraska (away). The sixth-place Lions (17-9, 7-6) are shooting for their first .500 or better conference record since they went 9-9 in 2010-11.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Minnesota has been waiting for heralded freshman Isaiah Washington to emerge, and it started happening last week. He had 15 points and seven assists in a loss to Iowa and a career-high 26 points and six rebounds in an overtime loss to Michigan. Those efforts earned him conference freshman of the week honors. This week he had 10 points and a season high-tying eight rebounds in a loss to Nebraska.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Wisconsin’s five-game losing streak is its longest since dropping six in a row in January 2009. … Nebraska has won four Big Ten road games, its highest conference road win total since 1998-99. … Michigan made just five field goals in the second half of its 61-52 loss at Northwestern on Tuesday. … Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy has a nation-best 21 double-doubles and is tied with Mychal Thompson (1976-76) for the school record. … The 43 points Indiana allowed against Rutgers were a season low for the Hoosiers and the fewest they’ve given up in a Big Ten game since 1996-97.

ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: Purdue (16-8, 7-3) has played itself into NCAA Tournament contention with wins in three straight games and six of the last seven. The Boilermakers host Minnesota on Thursday night to begin a closing stretch of four of six games at home, where they are 10-2. Dominique Oden has scored 20 or more points in four of the last five games, Ae’Rianna Harris ranks among the conference leaders in field-goal percentage, rebounding and blocks and Andreona Keys averages 13.6 points per game to lead a balanced offense. The Boilermakers are trying for a third straight NCAA appearance and seventh in eight years.

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