WEST LAFAYETTE – Trevion Williams scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds, Purdue forced 16 Michigan State turnovers and the Boilermakers ran away with a resounding 71-42 upset win over the eighth-ranked Spartans today at Mackey Arena in front of an announced sellout crowd of 14,804.
- Purdue's ceiling remains high: Let's be clear: the Boilermakers are not going to play as well as they did in the first half, when they led by as many as 22, on a regular basis. That was a special half with everyone on the court playing out of their minds, spurred on by a raucous Mackey Arena crowd. Still, it gives a hint at how good this team can be when it puts everything together. Combining crisp ball movement and sharp cutting on offense with strong, active defense and toughness on the boards is a winning formula and the Boilers were able to do that for long stretches today. Finding a way to put that together consistently going forward will be the mission of the rest of Purdue's season. One of the main problems is finding a way to do it when the Boilers are away from Mackey Arena. In West Lafayette, they clearly draw energy from excited crowds. In the future, they have to find a way to bring energy with them on the road.
- Controlling the glass: Michigan State came in No. 2 in the country in average rebounding margin at plus-11 and the Spartans had won the rebounding battle in every game of their eight-game winning streak. After MSU pulled down four offensive rebounds in the first four minutes, Purdue buckled down and outmuscled the Spartans on the boards for the rest of the game. The Boilermakers won the rebounding battle 34-32 and Williams was once again an integral part of the performance. The sophomore big man, coming off a 20-rebound game against Michigan, repeatedly went in among two or three Spartans and came out with tough rebounds, helping the Boilermakers get important second-chance opportunities. Williams finished with four offensive rebounds and the Boilers had a 14-6 advantage in second-chance points. Fellow big man Matt Haarms also had five total rebounds.
- Poise in big moments: Though the Boilermakers led by 17 at halftime, they still had to face the No. 8 team in the country in the second, which possesses one of the best offenses in the nation. Michigan State made things interesting a couple of times down the stretch, cutting the deficit to as few as 11 and ratcheting up its defense to make it more difficult for Purdue to feed the post. It also did what Michigan refused to do: double Trevion Williams (and Matt Haarms) down low. Despite some scary moments, however, the Boilermakers kept their cool and responded every time Michigan State made a run. They stayed aggressive on defense, continued to move the ball offensively and headed off any potential comeback before it could really gain steam. That calm in big moments is a sign this team is maturing as the season wears on.
Player of the Game: Trevion Williams
Williams followed up his monster performance against Michigan with another big day inside against the Spartans. He went 7 for 14 from the field and essentially iced the game with two powerful moves for baskets on back-to-back possessions with five minutes left to push the lead to 24. Williams scored in double figures just once in his first nine games this season, but has done so in seven of the last eight. The sophomore added four assists and a steal to his line.
Facts and Figures
The Spartans and Boilermakers shared the Big Ten title in 2018-19. ... The loss snaps an eight-game winning streak for the Spartans and is their first defeat in Big Ten play. ... Purdue is 8-1 at home this season and 2-6 away from Mackey. The Boilermakers have won five of their last six home games against top 10 opponents and 15 straight Big Ten home games overall. ... Road teams are 5-31 in Big Ten play this season. ... This is the second straight year an unranked Purdue team has beaten a top-10 Michigan State squad at Mackey. ... ... Haarms played with a sore hip after sitting out the second half and overtimes against Michigan because of the issue. The 7-foot-3 center had six points. ... Backup big man Evan Boudreaux went 3 for 5 from beyond the arc and finished with 11 points, his second double-digit scoring game this season and first since Nov. 16 against Chicago State. ... The Spartans shot 35% and were 2 for 16 from beyond the arc. ... The Boilermakers turned the ball over just six times and held a 21-8 advantage in points off TOs. ... Defending Big Ten Player of the Year Cassius Winston, who came in averaging 19.4 points and 6.3 assists per game, had just 10 points on 4-for-13 shooting and nine turnovers against five assists. ... Fort Wayne native and Blackhawk Christian big man Caleb Furst, a four-star recruit in the Class of 2021, was at Mackey Arena for the game. The Boilers have made Furst a priority in recruiting. ...
The Boilermakers are back in action Saturday when they travel to College Park to take on No. 12 Maryland (13-3, 3-2 Big Ten) at the Xfinity Center. The game will tip off at 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN2. The Terrapins had won three in a row before falling 67-49 to Iowa on Friday in the latest example of Big Ten home-team dominance. Maryland, which has been ranked as high as No. 3 this season, will be coming off another road game Tuesday at Wisconsin before taking on the Boilers.