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Purdue defense bottles up No. 8 Spartans in 71-42 upset

Michigan State v Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - JANUARY 12: Cassius Winston #5 of the Michigan State Spartans holds the ball as Nojel Eastern #20 of the Purdue Boilermakers defends during the second half at Mackey Arena on January 12, 2020 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Trevion Williams scored 16 points and Purdue relied on a staunch defense Sunday to upset No. 8 Michigan State 71-42.

The Boilermakers (10-7, 4-3 Big Ten) snapped a two-game skid by picking up their second win this season over a Top 10 foe. They also beat defending national champion Virginia on Dec. 4.

Cassius Winston finished with 10 points to lead the Spartans (13-4, 5-1) but also had nine turnovers as Michigan State’s eight-game winning streak ended. The Spartans, who were 4 1/2-point road favorites, hadn’t lost since Dec. 3. They produced their lowest point total of the season and were held almost 40 points below their season scoring average of 81.3.

The game was never really close.

The Boilermakers scored the first five points then seized control with a 12-0 run that gave them a 19-4 lead.

They were just warming up.

Williams and Sasha Stefanovic jump-started another big spurt, 13-2, which gave the Boilermakers a 34-14 lead with 3:23 left in the first half.

And even though the Spartans scored eight of the final 11 points in the half to cut the deficit to 37-20, they couldn’t build on that momentum.

After giving up the first basket of the second half, Michigan State scored seven straight to close to 39-27.

Purdue answered with two 3-pointers to make it 45-29 with 14:11 to go and the Spartans couldn’t get closer than 11 the rest of the game.


Michigan State: Clearly, the Spartans are better than they demonstrated Sunday. They were completely out of sync against Purdue’s defense. They were beaten physically and were careless with the ball. The real danger is it could become a guide for how other opponents can beat Michigan State.

Purdue: The Boilermakers’ usually strong defense might have been at its best against the Spartans. It’s tough to imagine them performing much better. But, offensively, they may have found a solution to their woes by divvying up the scoring chores. Time will tell whether coach Matt Painter has a fix -- or whether it was merely an aberration.


Michigan State: Committed seven turnovers before forcing one by the Boilermakers. ... The Spartans missed their first 10 3-point attempts and were just 2 of 16 in the game. ... Michigan State shot 35.1% from the field, was outrebounded 34-32 and the 20-point first half was its lowest total in any half this season. ... The Spartans have lost four straight in West Lafayette. ... Rocket Watts had 10 points. Xavier Tillman finished with eight points and eight rebounds.

Purdue: Williams also had seven rebounds and four assists. ... Evan Boudreaux had 11 points and five rebounds while Stefanovic and Eric Hunter Jr. each finished with 10 points. ... Purdue had a 21-8 advantage in points off turnovers. ... The Boilermakers broke a tie for the second-longest home winning streak against conference opponents in Mackey Arena history. They won 19 straight between January 1968 and February 1970. ... The Boilermakers have won five of their last six home games against Top 10 foes.


The Spartans will try to rebound at home Friday against Wisconsin.

Purdue faces another daunting challenge Saturday, at No. 12 Maryland.