Yes, the Boilermakers (10-7) had the important home court advantage.
Yes, Mackey Arena is MiG-alley as far as other college basketball teams are concerned. Purdue has won their last 14 Big Ten games at Mackey. But the Spartans (13-4) were undefeated, right?
‘Were’ is the operative word here.
Last night the Boilermakers did not so much defeat the Spartans as they concussed them. Michigan State was handed its worst loss of the year, trailing Purdue by nearly thirty points by game end.
Purdue came on fast, came on strong, and never let up. By 12:28 in the first half the Boilermakers were already ahead by 15 points (19-4).
The Spartans, meanwhile, played as if the team members had all just been introduced to each other moments before the game. Cassius Winston was so bottled up by Purdue’s defense he might as well have been carbonated. He managed only 10 points and was 0 for 5 for three-pointers.
Michigan State managed only 12.5% of their three-point shots, in fact. Purdue averaged 36.4% of its three-point attempts. This alone was bad news for the Spartans.
Making things worse for Michigan State were 18 turnovers. The Boilermakers committed only 6 turnovers total.
The Spartans’ shooting also went cold for lengthy periods of time during the first half, and again later in the second half. Yesterday’s game is the Spartans’ lowest score of the season.
The Boilermakers were in control and stayed in control throughout the game. Michigan State did shave Purdue’s lead down to 11 points midway through the second half, but at no point were the Boilermakers in any real danger.
Michigan State has sustained its first Big Ten loss.
The Spartans play against Wisconsin on Friday, January 1, at 700 pm.
Photo courtesy of The Detroit Free Press.