In perhaps their toughest test since facing Notre Dame earlier this season, Purdue took on Michigan State in East Lansing Tuesday night. After battling back and forth throughout the first half, the first 20 minutes ended with the score tied 39-39.
It was a great game played by both sides, full of physical play and great refereeing. And, to no surprise, Caleb Swanigan played a pivotal role in Purdue’s victory, scoring 25 points and making 17 rebounds on his way to yet another double-double, his 17th this year. Everyone on the team played well, as 6 of the 8 Boilers to log game time finished with double figures in points. As a team, the Boilermakers shot 49.1% from the floor and 52.4% from 3-point range.
The Spartans, led by their outstanding freshman guard Miles Bridges, who posted 33 points, played excellent as a team, shooting 51.9% from the floor and 45.8 from 3-point range.
Usually the box score gives a clear indication of why a team wins or loses but this was hardly the case for this game. Although the shot percentages seem to be quite different, both teams made 11 baskets from beyond the arch. The number of shots from the floor, assists, steals, and turnovers were practically identical between the two team. The number of fouls, 14 for Purdue and 22 for Michigan State, as well as points from free throws, 21 for Purdue and 8 for Michigan State, must be thrown out since the Spartans were forced to foul towards the end of the game. The difference maker in this game was the “Swanigan Effect”. Purdue out rebounded Michigan State 36-23 and Swanigan alone had 17 of those rebounds. Caleb Swanigan, the rebounding machine, was the difference maker in this game.
If the Boilermakers continue to play at such a high level, there are few schools in the country that they cannot beat.
Purdue’s next game is Sunday at 4:30pm as they take on Nebraska before coming home to face Northwestern on February 1st.