January 9, 2019 / 4:40 AM / 7 months ago

No. 6 Michigan State's defense shuts down Purdue

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Entering play Tuesday night, Michigan State had the best field-goal percentage defense in the Big Ten.

It proved to be a telling stat as the sixth-ranked Spartans suffocated Purdue’s Carsen Edwards, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, and rolled to a 77-59 victory in East Lansing, Mich.

Cassius Winston finished with 23 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Spartans (14-2, 5-0 Big Ten). Michigan State’s Nick Ward added 16 points and nine rebounds, and Xavier Tillman scored 11 points.

Michigan State’s defensive effort was the story, however, as Edwards was limited to just 11 points on 3-for-16 shooting, including just 2-for-13 from 3-point range. Matt McQuaid and Aaron Henry suffocated Edwards from start to finish.

Trevion Williams had 13 points and 12 boards to lead Purdue (9-6, 2-2), and Ryan Cline added 12 points.

For a few minutes after the opening tip, Purdue controlled the game. It didn’t last long, even after the Boilermakers took a quick seven-point lead less than five minutes into the game.

The slow start merely delayed the beginning of another efficient offensive performance to go along with suffocating defense for the Spartans. They used a 13-2 run to turn a 14-10 deficit into a 23-16 lead, a surge that featured three consecutive 3-pointers from McQuaid, Kenny Goins and Gabe Brown.

Michigan State then put together a 10-0 run late in the half after Purdue pulled within three. Winston got it going with five straight points while McQuaid hit another 3-pointer before Winston made two free throws. After a quick Boilermakers bucket ended the run, Winston closed the scoring with two more free throws to give the Spartans a 39-26 lead at the break.

The Spartans held Purdue to 11-for-35 shooting in the first half, including just 4-for-16 from 3-point range. Edwards was limited to five points on 2-for-8 shooting.

Michigan State extended the lead in the second half as a Winston 3-pointer put the hosts up 50-36. However, the Boilermakers started to chip away at the deficit. After a bucket from Ward, Edwards hit two free throws then nailed a deep 3-pointer to pull Purdue within 52-48 with 11:26 to play.

Michigan State responded, scoring the next five, forcing a Purdue timeout with 9:55 left in the game. The Spartans went on to score 11 straight to take a 75-58 lead.

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