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Boilermakers Hold On To Upset #6 Spartans 73-63

Stan Jastrzebski

The past six times the Michigan State men's basketball team had been ranked in the top ten when playing in West Lafayette, they had lost.

Better make that seven.

The Spartans fell to the Boilermakers 73-63 in front of a sold out Mackey Arena Sunday. The loss means MSU is no longer unbeaten in the Big Ten and Purdue improves to a perfect 10-0 at home this season.

Purdue was able to hold their opponents to 23% shooting in the first half and opened up an 18-point lead going into the break. In the second half however, Michigan State erased nearly all of the deficit in the first ten minutes, shooting 60% from the field. Their resurgence was keyed potential Big Ten Player of the Year Cassius Winston, who finished with game-high 23 points to go with eight assists and seven rebounds. 

Purdue outrebounded one of the best rebounding teams in the nation 42-33, collecting 16 offensive rebounds which led to 15 second chance points.

Purdue guard Carsen Edwards, who averages more than 24 points per game, scored just 14 as he missed 15 of his 19 field goal tries. While he struggled, other Boilermakers stepped up when needed. Redshirt freshman guard Aaron Wheeler hit three first-half three-pointers. Senior Ryan Cline scored 17, with five threes and a fall-away jumper in the final minutes. And Nojel Eastern had 12 points and 11 rebounds, as well as playing good defense on Winston. The reserves for Purdue also outscored their Spartan counterparts 26-9.

Michigan State remains atop the Big Ten as Purdue leapfrogs into third place. Purdue will travel to Penn State on Thursday, and will try to extend its overall winning streak to six.

Casey Abbett is a senior at Purdue from LaCrosse, Indiana, and has been been interning as a sports reporter for WBAA since his freshman year.