East Lansing – Michigan State entered Tuesday night’s matchup with Purdue knowing it had its hands full trying to slow the Boilermakers’ Caleb Swanigan.
While Miles Bridges had a record-setting night, it wasn’t enough as No. 20 Purdue beat Michigan State, 84-73, at the Breslin Center behind 25 points and 17 rebounds from Swanigan.
It was the third straight loss for Michigan State (12-9, 4-4 Big Ten) and fourth in five games. Bridges scored 33, a career-best and the most in a single game by a Michigan State freshman, surpassing the 32 scored by Scott Skiles on Feb. 24, 1983.
Bridges was the only Michigan State player in double figures. Nick Ward and Eron Harris scored nine each.
“Miles had an incredible, efficient game,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “But we didn’t have enough other guys that played well. … Miles Bridges is a special player. It’s sad he had a night like that and we don’t win the game.”
Purdue (17-4, 6-2) dominated Michigan State on the glass, grabbing 11 offensive rebounds and winning the overall battle 36-23. The double-double for Swanigan was his 17th of the season, the most in the nation. Vincent Edwards scored 12 for the Boilermakers, Isaac Haas 11, and P.J. Thompson and Carsen Edwards 10 apiece.
“He was good and is getting better all the time,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said of Swanigan. “He showed a lot of poise and showed a lot of maturity for a young guy.
“We just tried to get the ball inside and get those guys to make simple decisions. We wanted to be aggressive and we did a better job in the second half and put those guys in scoring position.”
Things went well early for Michigan State as the home crowd was buzzing. Midway through the first half the Spartans started taking control as an 8-0 run gave them a 33-25 lead after back-to-back 3-pointers from Bridges and Matt McQuaid with 5:47 left in the half.
Cassius Winston followed with a drive to the hoop for an acrobatic layup and Bridges dunked off a feed in the post. But Purdue kept pace, and after the Bridges dunk put the Spartans up 37-29 with 3:16 to play, the Boilermakers put together a run of their own taking advantage of Michigan State foul trouble as Nick Ward and Kenny Goins were both sent to the bench with two fouls.
Swanigan got it started with a 3-pointer while Haas made 5 of 6 free throws as Purdue ran off 10 straight points taking advantage of 6-foot-5 Matt Van Dyk in the post. After Haas missed his final free throw 6.1 seconds to play, the ball was rebounded by Bridges, who took the ball the length of the court and scored on a running layup as the buzzer sounded to tie the game at 39.
“I thought the game was kind of lost in that eight- or nine-point lead when we just had no players left,” Izzo said. “We has that eight-point lead in the first half and if everyone wants to know why I subbed it’s because everybody was in foul trouble. MVD gives me everything he’s got. He had a steal and did everything he can, but they really went to work in post on that and that hurt us.”
Things continued to go Purdue’s way in the second half after a Bridges dunk on a lob pass from Tum Tum Nairn put Michigan State ahead 46-44. The Boilermakers called a quick timeout and responded with a 15-5 run that gave them a 59-51 lead with 10:58 to play.
Bridges created a spark from there, dunking a miss by Alvin Ellis then stealing the ball from Swanigan and going coast-to-coast for a layup to cut the deficit to 59-55. However, Swanigan answered with six straight points as Purdue went ahead, 65-57, with 7:59 to play.
“This one hurts,” Winston said.