No. 20 Purdue’s size too much for Michigan State


No. 20 Purdue won its third straight game, defeating Michigan State, 84-73, on the road on Tuesday night.

All five starters — as well as Isaac Haas — scored in double figures for the Boilermakers, which was led by another double-double performance from Caleb Swanigan, who posted 25 points and 17 rebounds. A season-high 33 points, off 12-of-17 shooting (5-of-8 from three), from Michigan State freshman Miles Bridges came in a losing effort.

Michigan State needed to shoot nearly 60 percent from the field and 7-of-12 from three to go into halftime tied at 39-all. It wasn’t realistic that the Spartans could continue that pace, and over the course of the second half, the Boilermakers took advantage of a massive size advantage.

The Spartans issues on the inside are well documented at this point. Gavin Schilling and Ben Carter are out for the season due to injuries. and Deyonta Davis is a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. That left freshman Nick Ward and former walk-on Kenny Goins to go toe-to-toe with the Haas and Swanigan.

Purdue outrebounded Michigan State 36-23, and scored 15 points off 11 offensive rebounds. Safe to say, it was a rough night for Ward and Goins. Ward was summoned to the bench on several occasions to receive lectures from his Hall of Fame coach. While Goins provided some energy, he recorded two points and a rebound before fouling out with three minutes remaining in regulation.

Bridges was fantastic, keeping the Spartans in the game with five minutes remaining when his three cut the deficit to 69-65. But Purdue, one of the top 3-point shooting teams in the country, countered. P.J. Thompson set up Dakota Mathias for a three, before knocking down a triple of his own on the next possession, opening up a double-digit lead.

Purdue, which remains a half-game out of first place in the Big Ten, travels to Nebraska on Sunday. Michigan State is currently riding a three-game losing streak. While the Spartans get Michigan (on Sunday) and Wisconsin on their home floor, chances for marquee wins are quickly dwindling.