Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Michigan State men's basketball streak comes to end at Purdue

January 12, 2020
Freshman forward Aaron Henry (11) begins a fast break following a steal at Mackey Arena on Jan. 27, 2019. The Spartans fell to the Boilermakers, 73-63.
Freshman forward Aaron Henry (11) begins a fast break following a steal at Mackey Arena on Jan. 27, 2019. The Spartans fell to the Boilermakers, 73-63. —
Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

Three missed shots for Michigan State in one of their first offensive possessions at Purdue set the tone for a matchup that ended both its eight-game win streak and undefeated conference record. The Spartans fell for the third straight time at Mackey Arena, 71-42.

Purdue’s physical defense and locked-in three-point shooting dug the Spartans to the ground in only their second road game in the Big Ten this season. The Boilermakers shot an impressive 8-for-22 from the three, while MSU went an embarrassing 2-for-16, not sinking any from the behind the arc until the second half.

The Spartans never found an answer for senior forward Evan Boudreaux, who went 3-for-5 from three despite entering the game as 1-for-13 this season. Sophomore forward Trevion Williams, as expected, put up a challenge for the Spartans as well, leading the Boilermakers with 16 points and 7 rebounds.

MSU fell back on old turnover troubles early on and never seemed to be able to find their way out. As a team the Spartans committed 18, their most this entire season and allowed Purdue to capitalize with 21 points off of turnovers. Nine turnovers came from senior guard Cassius Winston, an out of character stat for him.

Aside from his sloppy ball handling, Purdue was able to shut the Spartan go-to down on all aspects of his game. Winston shot 4-for-13 from the paint and went 0-for-5 from the three-point line.

The Spartans entered the half down 37-20, putting up their lowest amount of points scored and largest deficit suffered in a first half all season.

Coming out of the locker room, the Spartans made a push to cut Purdue's lead to 12. An early Winston to junior forward Xavier Tillman play for a wide open three needed to be made to give the Spartans any hope, but like most other shots by the Spartans on Sunday, it just didn't go in.

It wasn’t until sophomore Aaron Henry found himself hungry to mark his first points of the game that he sunk the first three for the Spartans, before being called for this third foul shortly after, contributing to another factor that led to the Spartan defeat: foul trouble.

Freshman guard Rocket Watts saw himself some notable minutes, producing 10 points to tie with Winston for the team high in his 21 minutes on the court.

However, Purdue's 35-32 edge on the glass mixed with their ability to put a stop to any kind of shooting MSU tried to put up led them to take the largest margin victory the two teams have ever seen in their matchup history.

MSU will return home to host Wisconsin on Jan. 17 at 7 p.m.

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