Purdue Defeats No. 6 Michigan State, Ends 21-Game Big Ten Win Streak [VIDEO]
Michigan State was on a roll. They’d climbed up to No. 6 in the NCAA basketball rankings and were in the midst of a 21-game Big Ten winning streak.
Then, Purdue flipped the script on the Spartans. Michigan State has built an identity out of playing better defense, controlling the rebound battle and hustling for loose boards. They’ve claimed a spot by dominating the parts of the game that no one wants to, best exemplified by alumni Draymond Green. On Sunday night, the Boilermakers used that to win.
It’s cliche to say that “one team wanted it more” but that’s the case with this game. Purdue came out of the gate strong and grabbed a 19-6 lead. They then built on that. With 13:16 left in the game, they had a 23-point lead, up 55-32. But that doesn’t mean the game wasn’t interesting. As awful as a blowout can be, a late comeback attempt can make up for that. Michigan returned to form, forced eight consecutive missed shots and went on a 24-5 run. That cut the lead to just four points with 5:14 left. But then Purdue senior Ryan Cline answered back with a 3. The 6-foot-6 wing led the team with 17 points.
Carsen Edwards knocked down three free throws, scoring 14 points in total, to rebuild a 65-58 Purdue lead. Nojel Eastern made six straight free throws, which brought the lead to 71-60 and all but secured the win.
DON’T DOUBT THE BOILERMAKERS! 🚂
Purdue shows out in an electric Mackey Arena & ends No. 6 Michigan State’s 21-game Big Ten winning-streak! pic.twitter.com/wUjHYgck94
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) January 27, 2019
Despite the loss, Michigan State is still a favorite for March Madness. Cassius Winston added 23 points, seven rebounds and eight assists for the Spartans. They were in the midst of a 13-game win streak on top of two school records, 21 straight conference wins and 12 road wins.
Michigan has a five-day break after their first loss since November 27. Then, they’ll face Indiana on Saturday. The Boilermakers head to Penn State on Thursday.