Purdue came into East Lansing on a season-high 3 game winning streak after a back and forth start to the season. Michigan St. came in with an 8-game winning streak, all by at least 9 points, and no losses at home.
While Purdue threatens moving into the top-25 again, Michigan St. might be ready to move into the top-5 after holding serve at home again, beating Purdue 77-59.
Purdue’s National Player of the Year candidate, Carsen Edwards, and B10’s leading scorer coming into the game at 25.5 pointers per game, could never get comfortable as Coach Izzo sent long-arm and tenacious defender after long-arm and tenacious defender. He had arguably his worst game as a Boilermaker, 3 of 16, settling for tough, long three-pointers and making just 2 of 13 attempts while turning the ball over 4 times..
He was outplayed all night by B10’s best point, Cassius Winston who had 23 points to go along with 6 rebounds and five assists.
Coming into the game Coach Painter called Izzo’s squad the most physical team he’s seen in his 14 years in the Big Ten. The Spartans played like it. The combination of Nick Ward and Kenny Goins was too much for a Purdue backcourt that came into the game inexperience and left short-handed after starting center Evan Boudreaux left the game at the end of the first half and didn’t return for the second.
True freshman Trevian Williams was forced to play his most minutes in a game after Matt Haarms got into early foul trouble in the second half. Williams was one of Purdue’s few bright spots on offense, but he was attacked constantly on the defensive end. He collected his first double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds while assisting twice and only turning the ball over once, but he struggled to contain the physical presence of Nick Ward on the inside who had 16 points on just 9 shots.
Ryan Cline left the game briefly after turning an ankle, but was able to return to the game. He had some open looks, scoring 12 points on 4 of 10 shooting from deep, but saw a lot of his shots rim out.
Purdue’s bench which had been playing a lot better in the last three games, struggled outside of Williams to have an impact. Aaron Wheeler, shooting over 50% from three in the last seven games, was frigid the whole game, missing all 4 of his three-point attempts. Sasha Stefanovic missed both of his three-point attempts, and Eric Hunter Jr. didn’t get a shot off.
Purdue won’t have long to shake off the rough loss, as they head to Madison on Friday to take on top-15 Wisconsin as part of a brutal B10 stretch.
That game will be at 9:00 pm.