The Michigan State Spartans rebounded from a Big Ten opening loss to Minnesota with an impressive 84-61 win over the Purdue Boilermakers. Don’t let the score fool you, the game was extremely close up until the end of the game. The Spartans continue to get dominating performances from freshman guard Gary Harris.
Harris was good for a career-high 22 points against the Boilermakers. His previous high came earlier in the season against Loyola with a 20-point effort. Along with his 22 points, Harris also had one rebound, two assists and one steal in the contest. Harris was seven-of-thirteen, including an impressive six-for-eight from behind the three point line.
This performance certainly boosts Harris’ season averages. Going into the game, Harris ranked second on the team averaging 12.3 points per contest. On the season, Harris had a .486 field goal percentage and .308 three-point percentage. Harris has failed to hit double digits in scoring in only one contest that he finished. Impressively enough, Harris also came back from a shoulder injury after little time off and has continued his dominating freshman performance.
Earlier in the year, Harris won Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors after helping the Spartans beat Kansas. Harris will definitely be a candidate for Big Ten Freshman Player of the Year and seems to continue to see his stock rise.
The game was also a statement for Harris against the team that recruited him so heavily. Harris surprised a lot of people when he chose Tom Izzo’s Spartans over his parents’ Alma Mater Purdue. In fact, Harris’ mother ranks seventh all time in points scored for the Lady Boilermakers. Harris also played against several of the Boilermakers in high school. While attending Hamilton Southeastern High, Harris was named a McDonald’s All-American and won the Gatorade Player of the Year.